The Angels made yet another splash. First was the signings of Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson. Then it was the call up of Mike Trout. Now the Angels have acquired the 2009 AL Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke. This creates a super rotation that will consist of Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, Zack Greinke, and Ervin Santana. While Santana has struggled, the other four have pitched well this season. I believe Greinke is the second best pitcher on this staff, right behind Weaver. So when the Angels have Wilson as their fourth best pitcher in their rotation, the other American League teams must worry. Especially when Wilson was the American League Champion Rangers ace just a season ago.
The Halos sit 4.0 games back of the Rangers in the AL West Division race, and lead the Wild Card race by 1.5 games. Things are tight in the American League right now. Meaning nothing is guaranteed to any team. Which is why the Angels felt the need to make this move for Greinke.
The Angels biggest foes right now are the Rangers and A’s. People have this phobia of bringing National League pitchers to the American League, but don’t worry NL Pitcher phobics, Greinke has an excellent track record against American League teams. I did mention earlier he won the 2009 AL Cy Young award.
But if that’s not enough to assure you he can pitch in a big market like Los Angeles against quality hitting teams then this recent post from ESPN should.
*Greinke has pitched well in his career against the Rangers and Athletics, the teams the Angels are chasing/fighting off. Here are his numbers vs. each AL West opponent:
vs. Texas: 3-5, 2.81 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .242 opponent BA, 4.5 K/BB
vs. Oakland: 5-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .264 opponent BA, 2.7 K/BB
vs. Seattle: 4-1, 2.27 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, .218 opponent BA, 5.9 K/BB
These are very good numbers, and if you dig deeper through that post you’ll notice his spectacular numbers in AL West ballparks. The one number that stands out is Greinke’s 1.02 ERA in Angel Stadium.
I believe the Angels locked themselves a playoff birth with this move. They assured themselves at least a Wild Card, and a chance to fight for the AL West Division with the Rangers, and even the A’s.
The AL West Race should be the most exciting one of them all come September.