Los Angeles AngelsManager: Mike Scioscia
Stadium: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2008 Record: 100-62 (1st in AL West)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule
-- Buster Olney
HITTER TO WATCH:
Freddy Sandoval gets little play as a prospect but has a decent eye and good doubles power; he could fill in at third or first if either Brandon Wood or Kendry Morales struggles or gets hurt.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Nick Adenhart has an above-average fastball and a plus curve but a history of allowing way too much contact. His development needs might be better served in the majors than in Salt Lake.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Is Vladimir Guerrero the top right fielder in the American League in 2009? What about Bobby Abreu in left field or Chone Figgins at third base? Is multiple Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter the AL's top center fielder? Register your vote.
Brandon Wood has had a very good spring and has been showing signs that he can start translating some of his minor league production to the big leagues. He's been cutting down on the strikeouts without losing power. He also has eligibility at two positions for his fantasy owners, in a year when the American League has a lack of depth at shortstop and third.
Even though he's healthy again, Gary Matthews Jr. is going to find playing time tough to come by in the revamped Angels outfield, limiting his chances to bounce back from an injury-marred 2008.
-- Jason Grey
John Lackey made this column last year, and that's not something an athlete strives to repeat. He started the season on the DL but finished the year strong. His reappearance here for essentially the same condition does not bode so well. Lackey has inflammation in his right (throwing) elbow and is resting the arm following a cortisone injection. An MRI reportedly showed no major structural damage, and the Angels expect to have him back within a few weeks. So why the concern? Because with the exception of last season, Lackey has made at least 30 starts per year since his rookie season in 2002, adding up to a lot of mileage on a thrower's arm. Although he has shown great durability to this point, one has to wonder whether this episode signals that cumulative trauma is beginning to take its toll.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS