By Glen and Nate, AngelsWin.com Senior Satirical Prognosticators -
If you follow us on twitter (@TwoBlowhardsOneKeyboard) or on our esteemed blog you would know that at PCP headquarters we strive to give you fair and balanced analysis of all things Angels, whether it be in-depth analysis of free agent options, season previews, or of course sarcastic answers to your (fake) mailbag questions. Today we will give you a quick breakdown of some of the 25- man opening day roster, plus a couple for bonus.
Albert Pujols 1B/DH
Glen: Year five (sweet yeti of the Serengeti, has it only been four years so far?) of the contract and this was when I expected him to start declining, so he’ll decline from last year. Right on schedule. Today (3/7) I got to listen to a bit of the game on the way to work and twice I got to hear “Pujols bounces it to third.” Yep, right on schedule.
Nate: Last Google search: “How to sign up for AARP without anyone noticing.” I think we have to hope that he can play 100 games and hit 20 HRs this season. I don’t expect much more.
CJ Cron 1B/DH
Glen: He pulled a reverse-Trumbo (whatever you do, do NOT look that up on urbandictionary.com) last year by starting out awful and finishing strong. I’m hoping he’ll pull a double-reverse Trumbo (again, do not look it up) and have a full season of gooditude.
Nate: His offense at the end of the year was strong, but on defense he is like a drunk guy trying to sing karaoke. He acts like he could do it, but as soon as he tries he falls on his face.
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Glen: Since we have some of the old managing team coming back (in Black and Roenicke) it makes sense that we also have to fill the old “scrappy/gritty short player playing over his head” role as well.
Nate: On one hand, he was much better offensively than I expected, which isn’t saying much but his defense is on par with Cron. The right side of the defense may as well not exist while the two of them are in the game.
Andrelton Simmons SS
Glen: I love unusual names (Legedu Naanee of the Chargers was my favorite) so I already like Andrelton, even though I still can’t figure out what two names were combined to make his. Andre and Carlton? Andy and Relton? I know we gave up a (potential) lot for him but I’m looking forward to seeing him play even while I’ll miss Aybar, at least a little bit.
Nate: First of all Jerry Dipoto stole Aybar away from me so I hate him, and I will never stop hating him no matter what he does.
Yunel Escobar 3B
Glen: My hopes for 3b are modest: don’t make me wish we’d re-signed Freese. I think Escobar will do that, if just barely. It’s good to have another Escobar back on the team. I wonder if he measures up to or hopefully surpasses our previous Escobar, if you know what I mean. What I mean is, the team getting at least marginal value for his contract, you perverts.
Nate: I don’t know what to think about Escobar. A few years I really wanted the Angels to consider him, he has had a good OBP and is consistent on offense. On the other hand he is a bit of a headcase that has had issues with authority which with Scioscia means only bad things unless he can find Mathis’ lasagna pictures. I predict that during one of the Angels extended losing streaks this season he will lose it and fight someone and end up off the team.
Kole Calhoun RF
Glen: Ginger power but he showed signs of turning into another Trumbo clone. Let me dip into my big bucket o’ cliches here and see what I come up with: “This is a very important year for him; he really needs to progress and be the player we all think he can be.” Not bad at all for the first grab! Seriously, he needs to get that OBP back up.
Nate: Can you imagine how ticked off all the OFers that were up for a GG were when some ginger without a soul got the award and not them? I really like Kole but he needs to pick up the offense, he is too streaky and swings and misses too much.
Mike Trout CF
Glen: Mike Trout is like my wife: I’d never say anything bad about him in public. I love you, Mike Trout!
Nate: Only player to answer more questions about being wasted this offseason is Johnny Manziel.
Craig Gentry LF/OF
Glen: dictionary.com defines gentry as “wellborn and well-bred people.” Craig Gentry had a .196 OBP last year with the magical Oakland As. I define that as turrible. He’s one of many bounce-back candidates on the team. Why not? At least one of them has to, so I’m hitching my wagon to this well-bred lad. He’s previously played for both Oakland and Texas. It’s time for him to be our reverse-Napoli (again, do not look up) and play for the Angels and rake against his former teams. Seriously, we need that. For the love of all that is holy, please give us at least one player that rakes against his former team. At this point I’d settle for Eric Sogard at 2b and sucking all year except for when he played AL West teams. Be that man, Gentry. Be our reverse-Napoli.
Nate: Is a baseball player...
Daniel Nava LF/OF
Glen: Rhymes with lava and used to play for the Red Sox. I hope his OBP holds up. I hope we we have somebody who can play at least replacement-level LF. Is it you, Nava? I don’t care who it is, just somebody please play a decent LF.
Nate: Also a baseball player. Nava looks kind of like Nate from a distance so he does have that going for him. With the strong spring we can only hope he keeps it up. Unfortunately even if he plays well he doesn’t have the big bat the Angels needed to compete.
Cliff Pennington 2B/SS/3B
Glen: His first name makes me think of Cliff Clavin from Cheers and that’s always a good thing because then I start thinking in Cliff Clavin’s voice, and everything sounds better and funnier. Read the following in his voice and you’ll see it’s true: Hey Scioscia, did you know that the contact play was invented by Hobarth Rockney and he eventually killed himself once he saw everybody else trying to pull it off? See, funny!
Nate: I will be honest, I don’t know anything about him and I don’t really care because no matter what he is better than Featherston, who may as well have been swinging a feather for a bat.
Ji-Man Choi 1B/LF
Glen: He made the team because of a great spring at the plate. Oh wait, he made it because of his great defensive play in the outfield. Fuck it, I dunno why he made it. I guess because one year without an Asian was enough. Plus, there's all the fun to be had with his name. Has anybody heard Jose Mota pronounce it yet?
Nate: We found our first issue with Eppler... he listens to Adam when it comes to roster decisions. There is no other explanation why he would make the team. Glen has stumbled onto the best part about him... Jose Mota! Plus, what is Scioscia going to call him? Choi-y, Ji-ie. Mannie? Ji-man-ie .None of those work and for that reason he will never find a regular position in the lineup.
Carlos Perez C
Glen: I just hope he plays well enough, and I think he will, to shut up the blathering heads on MLB network who think that the Angels are weak at this position. Eff them. I think Perez will have a breakout season.
Nate: Resisted guest instructor Bengie Molina’s advice to get really fat and slow this off season. I don’t have the same positive outlook for Perez as Glen. I think Perez is an average catcher and average at best hitter. Last season he just looked appealing compared to Iannetta which skews our opinion of him.
Geovany Soto C
Glen: Will he be better than Iannetta? Probably not, because Iannetta is gonna pull a Napoli and rake for his new team. You just know it. Will he be an adequate backup catcher (despite Scioscia saying it’s an open competition)? Absolutely.
Nate: A quality defensive C without a bat… Sh*t… maybe Scioscia won’t notice... At least his name doesn’t sound like Jeff Mathis.
Jered Weaver SP
Glen: Our last year with the Weave. No more Li’l Weave or Dream Weaver jokes after this season. I just hope he can have a decent (as in #5 pitcher numbers) year. He’s meant so much for this team and I want to see it end on a good note.
Nate: I will always be thankful for Weaver, he has been a great Angel but he is completely done now. The dude throws 80 mph without good movement and it is in his head. All we can hope for is the rest of the SPs step up this year.
CJ Wilson SP
Glen: Dude has nice cars and a hot wife. So, he has that going for him. Seriously though, I expect he’ll pitch well. He’s pitching for his potential last contract.
Nate: Really injured his shoulder arguing with another hipster that vaping is straight edge
Garrett Richards SP
Glen: Our bounce-back candidate at pitcher. Gotta be the ace. I will say nothing else at the risk of my whammy.
Nate: I think most of the Angels season rests on his shoulders. If he can pitch like an ace then there is some hope for a wildcard spot. He finished last year strong but I still worry.
Hector Santiago SP
Glen: As always, I weep for Santiago and I curse the Angels because I have that luxury. And because he seems like a good dude, the kind you want to see excel. I’m guessing he settles in somewhere between his first and second halves last year and ends up a solid #3 or #4 type and I’m good with that.
Nate: CJ Wilson Jr… the only thing worse than watching him pitch are the goddamn references that Glen made in his comment.
Andrew Heaney SP
Glen: I like this guy. I like almost all of our starters, especially if they’re young and cheap with some upside. I think he’ll slot nicely behind Richards after this season and before Santiago, assuming he hasn’t been traded.
Nate: Heandog! Do we really need to keep adding dog to players’ names? Don’t you think we could be more creative? Is it because Scioscia couldn’t call him Heaneyie? Whatever we call him, he was damn good in his first stint with the Angels, look forward to what is next.
Matt Shoemaker SP
Glen: I want Shoey to do well, I really do. I think he’s gonna be the Jerome Williams of this year. Likeable guy, interacts with the fans and we all want him to do well, but just not good enough to stick with the team. As always when I make a less-than-optimistic prediction, I hope I’m wrong.
Nate: Like Glen, I am a huge fan of Shoe the person and I love the fact that his family has stopped by the AW community. He needs to have a strong start to the season or I am afraid he will be buried in the minors or DFA. I really hope he kicks ass early so we don’t have to see that.
Tyler Skaggs SP
Glen: The Angels are being extra cautious with him and that worries me. I just have a hunch he’s gonna be one of those guys we keep hoping for and hoping for, and then we finally give up on him. Of course, after that happens he’ll go to Oakland and kill it. Now I dislike Skaggs for what he’s gonna do in the future.
Nate: Skaggs was a huge get and then his TJ was a huge bummer. I have high hopes but now I am mostly pissed that he is going to go to Oakland and kill it.
Huston Street RP
Glen: It’s nice having a legit closer after all those Rodney/Fuentes years. However, the grammar cop in me hates the mispronunciation of his first name, and I don’t care if he says it’s pronounced HUEston. It should be pronounced HUSton, with the first syllable rhyming with rust. Same thing with Anjelica Huston. All that aside, keep pitching well, Huston. I won’t freak out when you blow a save, or a few in a row. You’re still better than what we’ve had since K-Rod hit the road.
Nate: It is great having a real closer. I don’t care how he spells his name, I am ready to watch him kill it once again.
Joe Smith RP
Glen: A good setup guy and he wants to return next year. Let’s see how he does this year. I like him because it’s damn near impossible to mispronounce his name.
Nate: I get the worst feeling that he is going to be bad this year but let’s hope not. I don’t know what else to say about him since Glen brought up his ultra generic name.
Glen: If at first you don't succeed...you know. This could be the year he pulls a Jepsen, as in a 2014 Jepsen. The bullpen needs some help so let's hope he does it. Plus, I like having a guy on the team named after a crucial engine part. Cam. I don't care if it's short for Cameron, it's still cool.
Nate: Bedrock... at least he isn't Beddog. I know he has family heritage but this is one of those guys I really have low expectations of. He could never throw strikes, despite having good pitches. The Angels sure seem to be loaded with guys like him... like this next guy.
Glen: Confession: I'm married to a Mexican, I've been with her for five years now, and I still can't get all of her family names correct or always match them to faces. I had to look up Jose Alvarez to figure out who he is, and whaddaya know, he was on the team last year! Decent ERA and a good spring (which I know, means absolutely nothing) bodes well for the season. Best of luck, guy who I'll still have trouble recognizing after the All Star break.
Nate: Confession: I am only writing about this guy because Chuck is making me. I didn't even know he existed. I will be surprised if he is still on the team by May 1st. I promise to not remember him again next year when we do this.
Mike Morin RP
Glen: I get to say it before Nate: get a brain, Morin! Like Albuquerque, he was awful in 2015 after a good 2014.
Nate: This Morin fooled us all into believing he was a good pitcher in 2014. Not again. Hopefully he doesn’t get many opportunities to pitch in close games or we are screwed, though maybe I'm wrong because he did have a good camp, not giving up a run all spring.
Cory Rasmus RP
Glen: Like Morin, he had a terrible 2015 after a solid 2014. Like Morin, I’m not sure if he’ll make the roster. Like Morin, I hope he has a terrific spring.
Nate: I feel like Rasmus is one of those guys that would be better served to have a specific role. It looks like the Angels have settled on him as a bullpen guy, so that's good for us.
Bonus (Note: these two did not make the opening day roster)
Al Alburquerque RP
Glen: I hope that at some point he’s made into a closer, just so he can make this his entry song and make them play the entire song every time: Alburquerque! Anyhoo, you’re gonna see an unsettling trend here with our relief pitchers: a lousy 2015 after a solid 2014. I think he'll be the first reliever called up from AAA. Next up...
Nate: Once again Glen brings up his name… which is awesome and so is the song. I don’t think he was that great to begin with so I don’t have high expectations.
Nick Tropeano SP
Glen: I’m still not sure how to pronounce his name but I’ll defer to however Jose Mota says it. We may never have a Hudson/Mulder/Zito or Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz but a future top three of Richards/Tropeano/Heaney might be fun. It gives me hope for the pitching future.
Nate: They call him Trop. Good name. If he starts to suck we must call him Tropeano so there is no confusion.