Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Howie Kendrick tells the OC Register that he "can play every day". Bill Plunkett says the "oft-injured underachiever" is ready for a breakout year.

My take. Hopefully this comes to pass because the Angels will feature a very dangerous offense if Kendrick blossoms into the player at the major league level that he showed in the minor leagues. The Angels desperately need Kendrick to become a run producer. I don't think anyone expects him to match his career .360 minor league batting average, but it is time for Kendrick to put together the type of numbers for the Angels he had in 2005, with 43 doubles, 19 homers and 89 RBI.

Kendrick has the right attitude, working hard on his conditioning hoping to overcome his hamstring issues and he's chosen a great mentor in Torii Hunter. However, from the Angels standpoint Kendrick needs to have a big year to show them that he is worth keeping around. With Sean Rodriguez and Ryan Mount in the organization, the Angels have options at second base and as with any prospect or young player you want to try and sell high if you are to move one of them. In the winter of 2008 the Angels almost had a deal for Miguel Cabrera with Kendrick being one of the central pieces. In 2009 it's unlikely that Kendrick could fetch the Angels a player who could produce like Cabrera.

The Angels are blessed with pitching depth. Even without Ervin Santana in tow the Halos look like they will have more than enough pitching to see them through this season. Kelvim Escobar is way ahead of schedule and Nick Adenhart, Shane Loux and Dustin Moseley are all performing well. Two of those three will likely take two of the five rotation spots to open the year.

Even with the departures of Jon Garland and Francisco Rodriguez, the Angels organization continues to stockpile reliable arms. Rookie Kevin Jepsen looks to take a prominent role in the bullpen this year.

Today the Angels will take on the Colorado Rockies with John Lackey taking the mound.
Love to hear what you think!


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