RH Joe Nathan (3-5, 2.80, 37/40 saves)
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
2012 season: 89-73 (third, AL West)
New faces: OF Josh Hamilton, above left, LHP Jason Vargas, RHPs Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson and Ryan Madson.
Strength: Offensive potential. The Angels were third in the AL in runs without Hamilton, who should push them to the top. And now that Albert Pujols, above right, has a year in the AL under his belt, watch out. And don't forget about Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, who combined for 62 homers last year.
Weakness: Fragility. Hamilton is no iron man, and Pujols has been limited this spring with plantar fasciitis and knee issues from offseason surgery. New closer Madson is coming off Tommy John surgery, and Hanson had some arm issues last year with the Braves.
Outlook: Although they won more games last season than AL champion Detroit, the Angels missed the playoffs for the third straight year -- a first under Mike Scioscia, baseball's longest-tenured manager. The offense should cover up a patchwork rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. After letting Zack Greinke walk, they're gambling on Blanton, Vargas and Hanson to keep them in games. The Angels are betting big money that it's their turn to rise again in the AL West.
LF Mike Trout (.326, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 49 SB, 129 runs)
SS Erick Aybar (.290, 8, 45)
1B Albert Pujols (.285, 30, 105)
RF Josh Hamilton (.285, 43, 128 with Texas)
DH Mark Trumbo (.268, 32, 95)
2B Howie Kendrick (.287, 8, 67)
3B Alberto Callaspo (.252, 10, 53)
C Chris Iannetta (.240, 9, 26)
CF Peter Bourjos (.220, 3, 19)
RH Jered Weaver (20-5, 2.81 ERA,
142 K, .214 opponents' average)
LH C.J. Wilson (13-10, 3.83, 173)
LH Jason Vargas (14-11, 3.85, 141 with Seattle)
RH Joe Blanton (10-13, 4.71, 166 with Philadelphia and L.A. Dodgers)
RH Tommy Hanson (13-10, 4.48, 161 with Atlanta)
RH Ryan Madson (DNP, elbow injury, with Cincinnati)
2012 season: 75-87 (fourth, AL West)
New faces: OF Jason Bay, OF/1B Michael Morse, OF Raul Ibanez, 1B Kendrys Morales, above, C Kelly Shoppach.
Strength: Improved offense, hard-throwing bullpen. Morse and Morales are legitimate, middle-of-the-order hitters who can't help but lift the team from the doldrums of the past few years. And no one in the majors can match the gas that relievers Tom Wilhelmsen, Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor bring.
Weakness: Starting pitching issues. Felix Hernandez is an ace, but from there, there are lots of questions in the rotation. Can Hisashi Iwakuma duplicate his late-season success? Is Joe Saunders a capable fill-in for Jason Vargas? And will youngsters Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer hold up?
Outlook: This is the year Seattle needs to take a step forward in the rebuilding manager Eric Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik have undertaken. Prospects Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders need to produce with consistency. Jesus Montero needs to show he can be an everyday catcher. And Franklin Gutierrez needs to stay healthy. If that
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