Angels: What’s next for the Angels Jered Weaver?
By Joshua Lea
Six Angels players have their jersey numbers on display at the Big A, hanging on Beige wall in right field. These numbers are home to players who helped shape the landscape of Angels baseball.
Jered Weaver is perhaps one of the Angels most decorative players, the former 12th overall pick of 2004 has been with this organization throughout his entire career. That alone would be sufficient enough for his number to be the seventh one on that coveted wall.
Although, talking about Weaver’s retirement may be jumping the gun. He is after-all, still playing and starting for the Angels this season. Weaver’s numbers aren’t outstanding; however, they are currently the glue that is holding the Angels pitching rotation together. Weaver has a season record of 8-9, an ERA of 5.19, with 67 strikeouts in 128 innings.
This numbers help mold the 142-90 win/loss record that Weaver has for his career. This includes a runner up nod in the Cy Young award in 2011, a year in which he had a 2.14 ERA. Weaver has also been an All-Star three times in his career (09-12) and he’s pitched in over 300 games as an Angel.
Following this season, Weaver’s contract will be up for renewal. Trying to choose a path when you have a few options can be maddening for players in the twilight of their respected careers. One such option would be to join a World Series contender and ring-chase. If Weaver were to join a Chicago Cubs or San Francisco Giants, helping them to a World Series championship, you couldn’t blame him at all. He’s been more than loyal to the Angels.
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Another would be to take the path of Alex Rodriguez and stay with the team in an office-position. Weaver could take on a role of a pitching coach and help the new guys stay healthy. Making sure the young pitchers don’t end up on the DL should be a high priority considering the amount of struggles we’ve seen this season.
Weaver will have a few options this season, retirement could even be one of them. Weaver has had a great career as a starting pitcher. Although, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for Weaver to remain on the team in the bullpen next season. Which would likely be the path Weaver will take following this season.
If we know anything about Weaver he will have to be carried off the field in a stretcher in order for the word retirement to be whispered. Sure, Weaver’s best days may be behind him. His stuff is slowing down and his velocity isn’t what many think it should be, but the passion and the fire will always be there.
It would be well to see Weaver remain an Angel for the rest of his career. It’s an aspect of sports that is fading in these newer years. These days, players get traded or sign massive contracts in bigger markets. Weaver has avoided that, whether through great play or just being a team first guy. Even if he struggled throughout his entire career, his attitude and presence on the field in the clubhouse should be noted and celebrated.
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It will be interesting to see what road Weaver and the Angels ultimately take. I would hope the Angels would want to bring him back next season and take the needed steps to make that happen. If franchises would be as loyal to the players as players of Weaver’s caliber are to the franchises, we wouldn’t see so many players being traded or bolting to another organization.