If the Angels are going to get back into the playoffs, everyone is going to have to contribute. Mike Trout is going to have to play well. Albert Pujols is going to have to get off to a better start. Josh Hamilton is going to have to be more like his first half self than his second half. Jered Weaver is going to have to pitch like the ace that he is. However, they aren’t necessarily the keys. Here are two key guys who need to have big years for the Angels to contend.
Mark Trumbo is a guy who has to perform. Is he more of the first half player who was an all-star or the second half player who hit just .227? Trumbo is going to be counted on to give Josh Hamilton or Albert Pujols protection in the lineup, depending on who hits fourth. If Trumbo falters, that means more at-bats for Vernon Wells or Kole Calhoun coming off the bench. Trumbo is a guy who can hit the ball a mile and strikes out a ton as well. He needs to improve his contact rate and take more walks like he did in the first half last year.
Tommy Hanson is the key on the pitching side. Hanson needs to be the strong third starter. Hanson’s been bothered by a back injury and his numbers have suffered for it. His ERA ballooned over four for the first time in his career. He’s an interesting buy low for the Angels, but he’s going to be an important piece, since they don’t have the depth in the minor leagues to supplement the rotation.
Trumbo and Hanson are the two guys who need to perform well. If they don’t, the Angels may have to make some other moves during the season, to help them get back to the post-season.