Found December 12, 2012 on
Monkey with a Halo:
In 2012, the Angels tried that whole "most talented rotation in baseball" thing. It was a real nice idea in theory, alas it was a borderline disaster in practice. In reaction to that, Jerry Dipoto decided to go in the complete other reaction and build from the back of the pitching staff forward. He replenished the overall depth and talent level of the bullpen merely plugged holes in the rotation. It isn't sexy, but it is a strategy and maybe even a good one.
In fact, one could argue that this is the very blueprint for constructing a pitching staff that Mike Scioscia had his most success with earlier in his tenure. Scioscia masked the weakness of his starting pitchers by shortening games with his stellar relievers. If the Angels had the lead after the sixth inning, the opponent was pretty much toast. Or at least that is what our memories of the great Percival-K-Rod-Shields-Donnelly bullpens were able to accomplish.
What we need to figure out is whether or not the stats back up that narrative, which I really hope it does because that seems to be what the Halo front office is banking on. To determine the answer to that quandry, I've broken out the starting pitcher usage and the performance of the rotation and bullpen throughout the Scioscia era. To show whether or not that usage actually paid dividends, I've also included the team's record and Pythagorean record as a finger in the air assessment of how much the Angels under- or over-achieved that season.
Clear as mud, right? The year the Angel bullpen was at its best was during the 2002 championship season, but Scioscia also stuck with his starters pretty well that season too. The next year was actually the best year for the bullpen both in terms of performance (excluding the 2002 season) and usage, but it was also the second-worst season the Angels ever had under Scioscia's reign. This does not bode well.
Things only get more confusing if you look at 2009. The Halos won a ton of games that season and beat their expected record by a healthy margin. Scioscia used the relievers a lot that season, but they were actually the worst they've been under his watch. That just so happened to be the year the Angels scored a Scioscia-era high 883 runs. Basically, the lineup was so good that it didn't matter how bad the pitching staff was. That is definitely one way to win games and the 2013 Angels should have a strong lineup, but maybe not 883 runs strong.
Fret not though for there is hope. From 2006 through 2008, the Angels also wildly overachieved and did so with a middling rotation that they didn't ride into the ground like they have the last few seasons and also a good but not great bullpen. It is hardly conclusive, but it does lend some credence to Dipoto's pitching staff plan. Essentially, it suggests that the Angels could steal a few extra wins by going to the bullpen early and often.
Of course, as in 2003 and 2004, if the starting pitching is outright putrid, that won't do any good. The bullpen won't be able to protect leads that don't exist. But with this bullpen, the Angels starters won't have to walk the tightrope for as long now, which is very good news considering that Hanson, Wilson and Richards all have shaky track records when it comes to going deep into games. Now all they need to do is be at least half decent for five or six innings instead of seven, If all goes according to plan, the bullpen should take care of the rest,
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
With the news that the Los Angeles Angels just signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year contract for a reported $125 million, it begs the question: Five...
With three-fifths of their starting rotation gone, the Los Angeles Angels have been busy plugging holes and upgrading a bullpen that routinely surrendered leads last season.
They introduced new pitchers Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson on Wednesday, along with relievers Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson - both of whom are coming off surgery.
General manager Jerry Dipoto says the Angels...
After losing out on Zack Greinke, the Angels decided to just take the money they had ticketed for a pitcher and sign Josh Hamilton instead. It’s certainly a bold move, and even with all of Hamilton’s red flags, he should probably project as something around a +4 win player for 2013, though of course the variance around that mark is probably larger than with most hitters. However...
Sean Burnett’s deal with the Angels is worth a guaranteed $8 million over two years, but the value could jump to $13.25 million over three years if he achieves all available incentives, one source confirmed.
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THE WEST IS THE BEST
Josh Hamilton reportedly has signed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and terms appear to be in the range of $25 million per season.
The Los Angeles Angels made yet another enormous offseason splash on Thursday by reportedly signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal. Last winter, the Angels locked down the best hitter on the free agent market by bringing Albert Pujols aboard. They did the same this year by aggressively pursuing Hamilton and giving him the fifth year that many teams were hesitant...
FORT WORTH, Texas The normally pleasant Texas Rangers media luncheon took a turn late Thursday afternoon.
That's when Texas general manager Jon Daniels ducked out of the banquet room at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel and took a call from Mike Moye, Josh Hamilton's agent.
Moye informed the club that Hamilton had agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He's leaving...
Remember yesterday when Jerry Dipoto said that he was pretty much done making moves? And remember earlier in the off-season when he insisted that the position player side of the roster was set? Yeah, about that...
According to MLB source the Angels are in SERIOUS negotiations with Josh Hamilton. No deal has been reached as of yet.
— Joe McDonnell (@joeontheradio)...
For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim* have come out of Anaheim nowhere to sign the biggest name on the free agent market, inking former MVP Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract. Everyone's shocked, including Jon Daniels and Torii Hunter.
[ * - Note: For real? We're still doing this?]
First of all ... I'd be interested...
Gary DiSarcina, the former Angels shortstop who was recently promoted to special assistant to General Manager Jerry Dipoto, confirmed Tuesday that he is leaving the organization to manage the Boston Red Soxs triple-A team at Pawtucket, R.I.
DiSarcina spent the 2012 season as the teams minor league field coordinator after serving as a special assistant to former Angels GM Tony Reagins...
They say that when a butterfly flaps his wings, it can cause a tsunami halfway around the world. Conversely, when an outfielder signs in California, flipping out commences in Flushing.
Josh Hamilton signed a 5-year $125 million deal with the L.A.A. of A. It surprised everybody, although it shouldn't have. First, because the Angels are ninjas. Second, what other place could...
Jerry DiPoto, what are you thinking? Mr. General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (how do you put all that on a business card?), have you lost your mind? Last year you signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $200-million contract, even though at age 32 he appears to be on the downside [...]
Well, it happened. Zack Greinke is staying in Southern California, but he'll be doing so wearing Dodger Blue and all the Angels have to show for it is a wobbly rotation and a giant hole in their farm system where three quality prospects used to be.
Some corners of the baseball world are applauding Jerry Dipoto for the restraint he showed in not giving into Greinke's...