LA Angels Episode IV: A New Hope with Tim Lincecum
By Joshua Lea
While the 2016 campaign has been a slight depression for the LA Angels, not all hope is lost. In fact, a new hope is quietly emerging and he is set to make his 2016 MLB debut this coming week.
You know his resume, you know his nickname, and you know what he can possibly do for the struggling rotation that is the LA Angels. Now it appears that the two-time national CY Young Award winner Tim Lincecum is ready to inject his “freak-like” mojo into the Angels pitching staff.
Lincecum signed a one yr. $2.5 million dollar contract last month, with lots of incentives. Since that time, LA Angels fans have waited patiently to see if Lincecum can help this struggling Angels team.
Yesterday Lincecum pitched seven innings for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, he allowed one hit, while striking out eight. Lincecum looked like his old self prior to his season-ending hip surgery that ended his time with the San Francisco Giants in 2015. A time that would spawn three World Series championships.
Now it is likely we will see Lincecum in an LA Angels uniform this coming Friday in Oakland. But, what can we expect? While it’s clear the LA Angels need a new hope at the mound, the Angels have been nothing short of resourceful in moving in pitchers after injuries occur. Lincecum has the potential to propel the LA Angels forward in the AL West.
Currently, the Angels are 12 games behind the division leading Texas Rangers; however, there are some signs of life for the LA Angels. The Angels have seen production from unlikely players. Rafael Ortega has score 17 times and has complied nine RBI’s, C.J. Cron has been the biggest surprise with 29 RBI’s and he’s scored 20 times.
Yunel Escobar has been solid all season long with a BA of .312, including 18 RBI’s. So, there’s more offense than just Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, which is a huge positive for the LA Angels.
The problem lies within the pitching staff, the LA Angels have been bite by the injury bug. Although, Matt Shoemaker has been a bright spot for the LA Angels with 70 strikeouts and a ERA of 4.76, despite having a 3-7 record.
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Dr. Jered Weaver has also been surprising with five wins on the season. However, the numbers following those two; with the exception of Hector Santiago, fall drastically which is why the LA Angels sit 27-36 on the season.
The LA Angels have had their fair share of injuries this year. Tyler Skaggs and C.J. Wilson have both yet to pitch due to injury. Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney continue to rehab hoping to make a return to the mound before the All-Star break.
I fully expect to see the LA Angels become close to full strength following the All-Star Break and make a serious charge towards first place in the AL West. With the addition of Lincecum, the pressure can be taken off some of the younger guys to produce.
Next: Simmons and Lincecum close to full strength
As the health of the LA Angels improves, we can expect for the overall quality of play to improve as well. The pitching staff must get healthy before the All-Star break for the push for the division to begin.