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2016 MLB roster outlook: Los Angeles Angels


2016 MLB roster outlook: Los Angeles Angels

2015 record: 85-77, 3rd place in AL West

Manager: Mike Scioscia, 17th season

Estimated 2016 payroll: $168 million

Key additions: SS Andrelton Simmons, 3B Yunel Escobar, DH Daniel Nava

Key losses: SP Mat Latos, RP Trevor Gott, SS Erick Aybar

Projected lineup

3B Yunel Escobar
RF Kole Calhoun
CF Mike Trout
1B Albert Pujols
DH C.J. Cron
C Carlos Perez
SS Andrelton Simmons
LF Todd Cunningham
2B Johnny Giavotella

Projected rotation

RHP Garrett Richards
LHP C.J. Wilson
RHP Jered Weaver
LHP Hector Santiago
LHP Andrew Heaney

Top relievers

CL Huston Street 
RHP Joe Smith
RHP Fernando Salas

Biggest questions entering 2016

1. How will Albert Pujols return from foot surgery? Pujols could miss the start of the season after having surgery on his right foot in November. When he returns, he will be 36 years old and in just the fifth season of his 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels. How quickly he can return to form will be very important for the Angels chances' this season. He has a history of foot injuries and was relegated to the DH role over the final month of 2015. Can he overcome this latest setback, or will injuries continue to affect Pujols for the rest of his career?

2. Can they improve their offense? Despite boasting Pujols - who still clubbed 40 homers in 2015 despite playing through pain - and perennial MVP-candidate Mike Trout, the Angels ranked 20th in MLB in runs scored this past season. That will need to improve for the Angels to win the AL West, especially considering their pitching staff is relatively average. They pretty much know what they're going to get from Trout, but Pujols' health and the development of other players such as Kole Calhoun and C.J. Chron will determine whether the Angels can get better at reaching home. If Yunel Escobar can replicate the 2015 numbers he posted with the Nats, that should help as well.

3. Can they keep up with the Rangers and Astros? The Angels would seem to have as good a chance as any team in the AL West to compete for a division crown this season, as there is no clear favorite. Both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, however, finished ahead of L.A. last season and both appear to be teams on the rise. The Rangers won the division without Yu Darvish, who should now return to form a very nice duo with Cole Hamels. And the Astros have as much young talent as any team in baseball. The Angels have the tools to win the AL West, but it looks like it will be a tightly-contested battle that will go down to the wire in September.

[Roster info via]

[RELATED: Nats spring training question No. 5: Who plays shortstop?]

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.