Another Season, Another Left-Handed Former Yankee

You might recall that about a year ago I posted an entry about my excitement regarding the acquisition of Bobby Abreu and how I thought he’d help the team.  Well, as I’m sure you know by now, the Angels signed Hideki Matsui to a one year deal last month.  While I am sad to see Vladdy go (this deal pretty much sealed his non-Angel fate), I am glad that we’ll be getting a more patient hitter.  Matsui is no better in the power or mobility categories but at least he’ll see a few more pitches per at bat and hopefully not ground into so many double plays.  Vlad had his worst season since his rookie year in ’09 (partly due to injuries) so I’m glad Matsui is replacing him, in essence.  I was over the Vladdy-love after 2008, when his numbers decreased drastically (and it was revealed he was actually a year older than he’d reported).  Matsui had a career year last season so he’s worth the low-risk of signing him.  Yes, his knees are bad and he’s just going to DH… but that’s fine.  That was Vladdy, too.

Back to Abreu for a moment.  He turned out to be a great investment, making all of the 2009 Angels better.  And he was rewarded with a new, two-year deal.  Back in my previous blog about his signing I’d said, “I’m projecting seventeen homers and 100 RBIs for Bobby,” and he gave us 15 home runs and 103 RBIs.  Not too shabby, eh?  So, what’s Hideki Matsui’s line going to be in 2010?  Well, if he stays healthy (and that’s a BIG if) then I’m guessing he still won’t hit 28 homers like he did last season.  He doesn’t have Yankee Stadium’s friendly short porch.  So, I’m guessing he’ll hit 18 home runs and drive in 85 runs.  Not overly impressive, but it all depends on where he hits in the lineup.  I’ll go ahead and throw out that he’ll hit .285 on the season.  Check back in a year!

Was it a good signing?  Yes, I think so.  A great one?  No.  I wish we still had Lackey… and Figgins.  We got Fernando Rodney… we’ll see.  He’s a wild card whenever he’s throwing.  Usually he’ll strike a guy out or walk him but he doens’t give up a lot of home runs.  He should compliment Fuentes well.  And Scot Shields will be back… plus we’ve got Jepsen and Bulger.  So, over the course of the season our bullpen is looking pretty solid.  Who knows if Matt Palmer will be another arm out of the pen or if he’ll fall into that fifth starter role behind Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, and Ervin Santana?  I think we’re okay on pitching and okay on hitting.  The lineup?  Here’s my projection:

1. Erick Aybar
2. Bobby Abreu
3. Torii Hunter
4. Kendry Morales
5. Hideki Matsu
6. Juan Rivera
7. Howie Kendrick
8. Mike Napoli/Jeff Mathis
9. Brandon Wood/Maicer Izturis

Thoughts?  Feedback?  It’s going to be tough to fend off Seattle and the Rangers.  They’ve both made better improvements to their respective teams than have the Angels.  Oakland?  I’m not worried about them.  We’ll see if the front office is done making moves for any/all of teh AL West teams.  One thing’s for sure–I’m excited for a new season of baseball and an All-Star Game here in Anaheim.

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