Angels 2006 Season Summary

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will sit out the post-season, for the first time in three years. After going 95-67 in 2005, the Halo’s ended up 89-73 for 2006.

My view of “The Why,” as Leo Kilfoy says:

1) The absence of Bartolo Colon. In 2005, Bartolo won 21 games and the A.L. Cy Young Award. In 2006, he had 10 semi-injured starts and finished with a 1-5 record.
2) Signing Jeff Weaver to replace Jarrod Washburn, who went to Seattle as a free agent. I wish the Angels had listened to Teddy Ballgame, concerning the probable success of THAT move.
3) Team Defense. The Angels were last in team defense, and first in errors, in the A.L. When you’re trying to win low-scoring games on pitching, defense and speed, that is tough to overcome. Some teams can slug their way past these problems; the Halo’s are not ONE of those teams, IMO.

Dealing with 1) and 2) together.

2005 rotation was 1) a healthy Bartolo, 2) Washburn, 3) Square-Head (Paul Byrd, it’s a term of endearment), 4) John Lackey and 5) Ervin Santana.

2006 rotation was 1) John Lackey, 2) Kelvim Escobar, 3) a non-healthy Bartolo, rescued by Jared Weaver, 4) Jeff Weaver, replaced by Joe Saunders, and 5) Ervin Santana,

By the numbers:

2005: 1) 21-8, 3.48, 2) 8-8, 3.20, 3) 12-11, 3.74, 4) 14-5, 3.44, and 5) 12-8, 4.65.

2006: 1) 13-11, 3.56, 2) 11-14, 3.61, 3) 13-7, 3.36, 4) 10-13, 5.59, and 5) 16-8, 4.28.

The 2005 Rotation was 67-40. The 2006 Rotation was 63-53.

For what it’s worth, Paul Byrd went 10-9, 4.88 for Cleveland, and Washburn was 8-14, 4.67 for the Mariners. Jeff Weaver was 3-10, 6.29 in his 16 Angel starts.

Dealing with the Defense: In 2005, I thought the Angels were above average at every position except third base and “whatever position Figgins was playing.” So if Figgins was playing 3B that day, they were above average at 7 of the 8 positions. In 2006, I worried whenever the ball was hit to anybody except Orlando Cabrera. And even Orlando’s error total went from 7 to 16. Figgins at 3B fielded an unbelievable .878.

Since I don’t think there are any defensive statistics that tell the tale, let’s compare the people at each defensive position, 2005 to 2006.

C: Bengie and Jose Molina – Jose Molina and Mike Napoli.
1B: Darin Erstad – Kendry Morales, Howie Kendrick, Rob Quinlan.
2B: Adam Kennedy – Kennedy and Kendrick,
SS: Orlando Cabrera.
3B: Dallas McPherson and Chone Figgins – Maicer Izturis and Figgins.
OF: Garret Anderson, Steve Finley, Vladimir – Garret, Figgins and Juan Rivera, Vladimir. No comment necessary, right?

Granted, a dip from 95 wins to 89 isn’t exactly “falling off the cliff,” but I think these 3 factors were most indicative of the 2006 failings.

What do others think?

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