Once again, I am listening to XM Radio's MLB Homeplate. Today it was Friday's edition of "Fantasy Focus", which is called "Down On The Farm Friday With John Sickels," and today's edition with Will Carroll. Both shows touched on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
On Friday, Jim Callis of Baseball America was the guest, and the topic of Brandon Wood arose. Callis opined that Wood could be stagnating due to the lack of opportunity after proving himself deserving. Given the Angels have been remiss is providing opportunities for its younger players, this does not surprise me.
He also said Brandon Wood has the defensive ability to be a Gold Glove 3B or a decent major league SS. After all this time, no one should expect manager Mike Scioscia to move his favorite Chone Figgins off third, but Erick Aybar and Macier Izturis do not possess any one skill that would prevent Wood from winning the job in March.
Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus offered a negative assessment of Kelvim Escobar's shoulder injury. He said he'd rather have Curt Schilling this season over Escobar and that he sees Escobar's injury taking the same path as the Cardinals' treatment of Chris Carpenter did last season - go conservative and eventually cede to season-ending surgery.
Escobar was close to off my draftboard entirely. This is more than enough new info to have him removed.
Finally, closer Francisco Rodgriuez is taking his case for a long-term contract public by telling the media that he thinks this will be his last season as an Angel. As any astute fantasy player would do, I immediately thought of who will close in 2009.
The obvious player is Scot Shields. He is signed for another two seasons and clearly has the trust of Mike Scoiscia. After that, I'd pick Justin Speier who is making big dollars to set-up.
If I were gambling, though, I'd love to see Ervin Santana get a shot. He was good in relief last year after his demotion,and he would allow the Angesl to keep Shields and Speier in the roles that have had them wealthy. Plus Santana will be under the team's control through the 2011 season.