The Angels start their post all-star break schedule on Friday in New York against the Yankees. They currently sit four games behind the Texas Rangers and lead the Wild Card. What do the Angels need to do in order to stay at the top of the Wild Card and challenge the Rangers? Let’s take a look at some keys.
- Get outside help- The starting pitching other than Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson has not been good. Dan Haren hasn’t been himself this year, in part because the team didn’t hit and in part because he’s been hurt. Ervin Santana has been inconsistent all season and Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards have been okay. Richards could probably use some more time in AAA. There have been rumors in recent days of the Angels acquiring Zach Grienke, however I don’t think they will have enough assets to trade for him. Could Richards, Jean Segura and Jordan Walden get it done? It’s possible, but if the Rangers offer Mike Olt in a package, I think the Brewers take that. Maybe a Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs is a better option and cheaper prospects-wise as well. Look for them to also add a bullpen arm, possibly a second lefty to cut the workload for Scott Downs.
- Keep this lineup intact- Vernon Wells is on his way back from injury. He hasn’t done a whole lot since he got to LA and there isn’t a open spot for him. Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo aren’t going anywhere nor should they be. Maybe he could DH against lefties. Kendrys Morales is only hitting .238 against lefties though Vernon is only hitting .233 in the past three years. It seems to me that Wells is probably going to be on the bench. I think if the Angels could find a trade partner for him they could.
- Stay healthy- The team has had injuries all over. From starting pitching to the bullpen, people have had different injuries all season long. If the team can find a way to stay healthy, they can give the Rangers a run for their money atop the division. The Rangers are going to get some of their pitchers back soon. The Red Sox are getting healthier. The Angels need to get Haren back healthy and productive.