They need to shore up a weakened bullpen and add a top tier CF to make the jump to the next level. Free Agent Pitchers Luther Matthews and Ralph Ainsworth are shells of their former selves and probably will retire. IF anything Ainsworth might have another year to over in relief, but it will be somewhere else. The bigger hits will be on the Offense where the La will look to replace superstar CF Midre Jordan. Jordan missed almost the full season with an ankle bruise early in the season and spends the rest of the season on the DL by coach's choice. His unhappiness with this decision should lead to his departure from Strasfigor.Free Agent Pickup 1B Adrian Cassidy makes first base a locked down position for the next 2 seasons. Cassidy adds a 30+ hr bat to a strong lineup. He does create a huge log-jam at first/DH for Anaheim. Adding DH Hiram Vangurito the team with a 5 year 21M deal is very intense. Vangurito has not a proven commodity at this point and although he will be a hitter there isn't a place on the field to hide him except DH. Arbitration case for Matthew Fox and Vic Velandia will be interesting. Matt Fox who played Shortstop should be paid as a RF. He is also coming off a huge season with 19HR and 72RBI. These are numbers he will not duplicate, but want to get paid as if he will. Vic Velandia probably got his 1st and only shot at starting in S18, he will be either on the bench or gone. It is unlikely he will get arbitration. 2B Edgardo Trinidad is a sure thing for Arbitration he showed flashes of both power and speed and should be able to build on his speed for this season. Scouts aren't sure where the power burst came from. Pitcher Bobby Woods fell out of favor with management early in S18, it is unlikely he will return. On the other hand both RP Ramon Yoon and RP Mike Clark are likely to get 1 more chance to make it in this league. Both have shown just enough to get a second look in s19. Mike Clark was given his walking papers after a disastrous season 18 in LA. Added was RP Joe Wall who adds a veteran element to the bullpen. Wall is coming off a successful run in Colorado Springs where he held batters to a .225 average over 2 seasons.
The outfield is slow to react in the field and sometimes they make poor decision, but their contracts pay for what they do at the plate. LF Clay Cambridge is coming off a career year, where he batted over 300 (.304) and hit 28 hr and drove in 120 runs. Tony Bryne has shown he can be a top level base stealing threat stealing 60+ for the 2nd straight year while batting .277. Rookie 2b Yorvit Gonzales got a late call up and made the most of his time with the club batting .318 with 24 hr and 64 RBI in 242 ab. With a whole season he should step up and be this teams big #3 guy and the man they build around. First base might be a huge log-jam Adrian Cassidy is the sure bet starter but there should be an open competition between last year's starter Jaime Bonds and Desi Almonte for the backup position. Bonds are a far better defender, but offer a lot less at the plate than Almonte. They should both get plenty of chances to prove their worth early on. DH will not be a fulltime option for neither as Fausto Rodriguez or Hiram Vangurito has that sewn up. Rodriguez's offense will be hard to ignore, he has crushed no less than 36 Hr in full-time action the past 4 seasons. Bonds could see time at RF or LF as a defensive replacement. His contract, a 4 year 18M deal sign in S18, will be hard to move for his talent. The resigning of Everett Rodgers is huge for Anaheim who needs in all-star bat and offense to build around. He should end of at 3B this season and be an anchor there for the next few seasons. His Defense at Shortstop is no longer efficient.
Huge question marks persist at SS and CF. 2B Prospect Yeico Martin could be in the running to move to CF , though he still has some growing to do to truly be a defensive plus. SS Louie Rodriguez who fell out of favor with Anaheim last season should be back in the Big Leagues this season. He seemed to bat a solid .257, but his strikeout every 3rd at bat was very concerning.
The Starting Rotation could be shaken up a little bit with Walt Inge, and Matty Molina all returning to the rotation after solid campaigns. They should be joined by Victor Perez who signed a 2 year 10.4M deal in S18, but struggled with his control and finished with a 6.88ERA. He could be trade bait if Anaheim has lost confidence. Starter Ramon Yoon has also worked his way to the end of the rope with the team. Team officials report he should be offered arbitration, but he will need to show that he is worth continual investment. Johnny McGehee who showed early flashes of skills is coming off an elbow injury, He should get a shot to compete. Also Rookie Wallace Lunsford will make the transition out of the pen and into the rotation. He should be the future. There is a window for the final rotation spot competition to be won. Also auditioning will be Andre Bradley (control issues),
The Bullpen has a few solid arms going into the season. Andres Coronado had a down year, but should bounce back and be a major factor in Aneheim's rebound for S19. Closer Cookie Espinosa should be equally as effective as the closer. He has averaged 34 saves a season. The rest of the bullpen is up in the air and will need to be filled in with Free Agency. The Addition of Joe Wall will help solidify the pen until the next level is ready. The only pitching prospect close to being ready is Edge Ferrara, but he will struggle if not monitored in the right role.
SUMMING IT UP WITH A QUOTE:
"I Thought LA offered me the best chance to play every day and be the man, I am the Man!" - SS Everett Rodgers