Power Rankings: Heralded Angels still have time to turn it around

by | CBSSports.com Baseball Blogger

Mike Scioscia isn't getting the best Ervin Santana and Co. have to offer so far this season. (AP)  
Mike Scioscia isn't getting the best Ervin Santana and Co. have to offer so far this season. (AP)  

So the Angels are in real trouble now, right?

After a spending spree landed them Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson (and LaTroy Hawkins!) at the winter meetings, expectations were sky high for this group. And they've stumbled out of the gates to the tune of 6-11.

The problems are aplenty. Pujols is having possibly the worst dry spell of his stellar career, Ervin Santana is basically throwing batting practice, Dan Haren has underperformed, they have a cardboard cutout for a fifth starter and the bullpen has issues.

Wait, there's more: Vernon Wells is still bad, Alberto Callaspo can't hit, Mark Trumbo can't field. Peter Bourjos is a wonderful defender but he's hitting his weight (and he's light).

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Having played just 17 games, it's hardly a sample we can rely on. And evidence from the Angels' past tells us a talented team can overcome this.

The 2002 Angels were as bad as 6-14 before winning eight straight games. They would finish 99-63 and win the World Series.

Maybe they need a boost from young talent? The 2005 Yankees had similarly high expectations and major issues into May. They were 11-19 at one point. But in late April they promoted Chien-Ming Wang and in early May gave the second base job to a kid named Robinson Cano. The team came around and they went 95-67, winning the AL East.

I bring this up because the Angels have 20-year-old Mike Trout tearing up Triple-A pitching. Maybe it's time to make room for him in the batting order. Say he provides a spark while the veterans start playing like they're capable? There's still plenty of time to turn this thing around, but a jolt of youthful exuberance couldn't hurt.

As always, these are not the standings. And as always, stats, comments and rankings are through Tuesday night.


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