Series Preview: Talking Angels with Halos Heaven

The last interleague series of 2013 opens tonight at Miller Park.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS
59-74 (4th place, NL Central)
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
60-72 (3rd place, AL West)

GAME 1: August 30, 2013 @ 7:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 2
: August 31, 2013 @ 6:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 3: September 1, 2013 @ 1:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

Miller Park | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A View from the Other Dugout: Halos Heaven

Game 1 Wily Peralta (8-13, 4.51) vs. Jered Weaver (8-7, 3.46)
vs. Angels (0-0, ---) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 2 Marco Estrada (6-4, 4.44) vs. Jerome Williams (5-10, 4.69)
vs. Angels (0-0, ---) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 3 Kyle Lohse (9-8, 3.39)
vs. C.J. Wilson (13-6, 3.36)
vs. Angels (0-0, ---)
vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)

To help us get ready for this weekend's series, we've enlisted the help of Rev Halofan of Halos Heaven to answer some questions about the Angels.

BCB: Obviously Brewer fans are disappointed with the way 2013 has turned out, but their sadness has to pale in comparison to that of Angels fans who were expecting much more. Is the general consensus that 2013 is a blip on the radar, or a sign of some lean years to come?

HH: The faithful are having a hard time seeing hope. The Angels farm system is dry. The high payroll prevents fixing issues with a checkbook (although that can be a good thing). The trial balloons of trading Howie Kendrick and Erick Ayabr for pitching should telegraph desperation from the front office totally mystified by the collapse. For 2014 the optimists have Mike Trout and the fact that the Albert Pujols injury was not a chronic issue. For the pessimists there is everything else.

BCB: 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and near MVP Mike Trout is back at it in full force again in 2013, where he's carrying a .332/.427/.574 batting line for the season and has actually been significantly better than that in August. Is there any way to slow him down?

HH: Ask your scouts, they passed him up (ha ha, I say this to all 22 teams that passed him up in the 2009 draft). (Editor's note: The Brewers are not one of those 22 teams.). If his game has any flaw it is that he is more prone to the strikeout, but it is a marvel to watch him improve on everything, even on that. He is not running anywhere near as much this season. Is this a Mike Scioscia decision? He has had a tender hamstring issue of late (he sat out a three game Cleveland series earlier this month and the Angels folded instantly) and maybe that has made him reticent to jump as the numbers on the basepaths are a lot lower than last season. But it is almost splitting hairs to fixate on these. He's basically the best young player in baseball in perhaps half a century. In a list of 36 categories of statistical achievements up to and including an Age-21 season, Trout ranks in the top ten in baseball history in 17 categories and in ten more for numbers accrued while Age 21. The best way to slow him down will be to wait for his 2032 retirement season.

BCB: C.J. Wilson (who will start on Sunday) has been great this year, but he's the only Angels starter who's pitched a full season at this point. Is the rotation a question mark for this team going forward?

HH: Yes. For the next three seasons it looks like it will be Wilson and Weaver and then make up a funny rhyme.

BCB: Ernesto Frieri has 50 saves since joining the Angels last May, including 27 this season, and is striking out 13.2 batters per nine innings in 2013. What makes him so effective?

HH: What makes him so effective is facing bad hitters on weak teams. He is in a bad stretch right now. Brewers fans will have a chance in the game when he enters it.

BCB: Obviously Mike Trout is awesome, but over the course of the season he's been the only regular on this team under the age of 26. Are there any other future stars on this roster to keep an eye on?

HH: Outfielder Kole Calhoun has been waaaaaayyy better than Josh Hamilton in limited playing time. Want to take Hambone off our hands? We got Grant Green from Oakland for Alberto Callaspo at the trade deadline and he may be the heir to 2B if Howie Kendrick is shipped out in the offseason. Luis Jimenez just came back up from AAA to play 3B, he has an outside chance at being an everyday player, while Green is definitely looking at a few seasons of being in the lineup everyday and Calhoun could even see an All Star Game or two in the next half-decade under the right circumstances.

Thanks to Rev for taking the time, and check out Halos Heaven for more on the Angels!

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