Lyle Spencer, a writer for MLB.com and former Angels beat writer, joins Scott and Jeremy to discuss Baltimore’s upcoming series against the Angels.
Many writers around baseball, including Spencer, have attributed Los Angeles’ recent success to a much improved bullpen situation.
“It all the sudden solidified when they moved Joe Smith to the eighth inning and signed Houston Street from the Padres,” Spencer explained.
“Street, in terms of save percentage, has been one of the best guys in the game. He should thrive here. It’s one of the final pieces they needed.”
Although the Angels made huge free agent splashes in recent years, their production had been disappointing—until this season. With a current record of 59-38 and being just 1.5 games behind Oakland for first place in the west, the scrappy Los Angeles team seems to have put it together.
“The Angels have been a comeback team all year. They’re just supremely confident now that they have Pujols healthy again. He’s acting like he enjoys being there now, which wasn’t the case before,” said Spencer.
Of course, the Angels’ surge this season has featured iconic young talent, Mike Trout.
“I’d compare him more to Willie Mays,” said Spencer. “He played every inning like it mattered, and that’s how Trout plays. Even more than unbelievable talent, it’s his attitude and demeanor that makes him unbelievable.”
Although Spencer emphasized the potential and talent on the Angels’ side, he certainly sees postseason potential in the Orioles’ dugout as well.
“I think there are some really valid comparisons between the Orioles and the Angels. The rotation after [Weaver and Richards] isn’t dominant, but it’s very solid,” said Spencer.
“I love the Orioles. If their starting pitching holds up, they could be dangerous. If AJ Burnett is in their sites, I think that would be a great move for them.”