With dawn about to break on a new Angels season, there is a ton of anticipation tempered with a few nagging questions. Time will answer these for me, but I don’t have that kind of patience, so call them concerns or curiosities, here’s my top 5.
5) How will they start?
Better than last year. Frankly, it’d be hard to start worse. Everyone who we expected to be fit, is. There’s far less confusion in the outfield/DH categories than there was even a month ago, and essentially this is the same on-field lineup as last year, so they should be pretty comfortable around each other. Simply put, I think last April was an anomaly. Yes, they have three tough series to kick things off, with the Reds, Rangers and A’s all looking to improve on or justify last year; but the Angels have a few points to make of their own, and I think they’ll make them before they even get to the cannon fodder that the Astros and Twins should be.
4) Can the “Big Three” possibly live up to the hype?
Yes, if they’re allowed to. Pujols has had a year to get used to playing in the American League, and in Anaheim, and for what must be the first time in his career, he’s not the main focus of the media and fan spotlight. That honor goes to Mike Trout, closely followed by Josh Hamilton. Trout is playing his first opening day, and, watching his meteoric career to date, I see no reason to think he’ll do anything but rise to the occasion. Hamilton, for better or worse, strikes me as someone who just plays his own game regardless. I’m not saying he’s not a team player, he just is what he is, and if that means hitting dingers when a game is well out of reach, or dropping a routine fly when the entire season is on the line, Josh is gonna do what Josh is gonna do. Plus, he’s starting with back to back series against former teams – if he can ignore the pressure, he’ll feel right at home at those ballparks.no comments