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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Will Carroll On The Angels' Health

About what you'd figure, with Hideki Matsui, Ervin Santana, and Fernando Rodney all turning red, Juan Rivera and Scott Kazmir yellow lights, and everybody else green. (Interpolate your own values if you think, as a lot of people I know do, that Carroll is a worrywart.) Of special interest are his comments about Rivera:
Scouts tell me that Rivera is Molina-level slow, and that seems to be the biggest effect of losing a couple years due to injury. He didn't have any apparent problems staying healthy in the outfield, but I'm a little curious how the Angels will spell him. Guerrero could play the outfield some and they had planned to play him more before his shoulder injury made that impossible. Reggie Willits is the fourth outfielder, but the flexibility that the Angels were built on in the last decade is gone now.
You noticed that, too? In my mind, it started to evaporate when they decided Chone Figgins needed to be an everyday third baseman; not that there was anything intrinsically wrong with that, but does anyone doubt at this point that he would have been a better option, offensively and defensively, than Gary Matthews, Jr. has proven? The decision to acquire Torii Hunter has certainly paid off, but the post-2006 Angels teams have progressively sacrificed a fair amount of flexibility, both due to a loss of utility players, and increasingly solidified lineups that have proven impermeable to change long after the player has shown himself incapable (coughVladcough), either through age, infirmity, or both.

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