Anaheim to boast strong lineup

The Angels appear loaded and ready to make people turn their attention away from the New York-Boston corridor.

Updated: March 16, 2004, 10:15 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
On paper, the Angels appear loaded and ready to get back into the mix and make people turn their attention away from the New York-Boston corridor and start looking from Seattle on down to Anaheim for their pennant race viewing pleasure. A three-way battle with the Mariners and A's seems to be in the cards. You could say this about a lot of teams, but if everyone on the Angels plays to their strengths, they could have a very productive lineup -- first base notwithstanding. Let's review the nine Angels starters, where they were and where they need to be in order for the team to score the extra 100 to 125 runs they're going to need to remind Oakland and Seattle it's not going to be a two-team race in 2004.

Vladimir Guerrero (Right Field): I am still trying to figure out why there was so much caution about Guerrero during his free agent days. Yes, he missed 50 games with a bad back, but the most important thing to remember is he came back after that. Had the back problem finished his season, you could understand people's caution. It didn't though. In fact, he was actually better when he returned:

Before injury: .911 OPS
After injury: 1.095 OPS

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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