C.J. Wilson Signing: How Good Will Angels' Starting Pitching Be In 2012?

The Los Angeles Angels in 2011 had a very productive starting pitching staff, led by the top three of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. On Thursday, that trio became a foursome as the Angels signed C.J. Wilson to a five-year, $77.5 million contract. Wilson is the lone lefty of the group, but just how good will the Angels' starting staff be in 2012?

Angels Starting Pitching In 2011
Pitcher Starts IP IP/GS BB K ERA WHIP
Weaver 33 235.2 7.14 56 198 2.41 1.010
Haren 34 237.1 6.98 33 191 3.19 1.028
Santana 33 228.2 6.93 72 178 3.38 1.220
Others 62 341.1 5.51 130 167 4.83 1.544
Totals 162 1043.0 6.44 291 734 3.59 1.235

The other starters outside of the big three for the Angels put up a 4.83 ERA in 62 starts in 2011, while Wilson was busy putting up a 2.94 ERA in 223 innings in hitter-friendly Arlington, Texas. We can look at FanGraphs to see the 2012 projections by Bill James, to get some sort of idea, a guestimate of how the Angels now fearsome foursome might fare next season.

For simplicity's sake, I have assumed the remaining starts in 2012, which will likely be made by Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, and a few others, will have the same results as the "others" in 2011.

Angels Starting Pitching 2012 Bill James Projections
Pitcher Starts IP IP/GS BB K ERA WHIP
Weaver 32 224.0 7.00 55 197 3.17 1.121
Haren 32 234.0 7.31 39 202 3.27 1.111
Wilson 32 215.0 6.72 80 194 3.31 1.228
Santana 32 221.0 6.91 71 175 3.95 1.303
Others 34 187.1 5.51 71 92 4.85 1.543
Totals 162 1081.1 6.67 316 860 3.67 1.316
Source: FanGraphs

The total results from the staff show some better peripherals from the Angels' starters, but thanks to some regression the overall run prevention projects to be similar to last year. If those four pitch to those projections in 2012, the starters should pitch about 30 more innings than last year, taking some strain off the bullpen at the very least.

The Angels have had four pitchers all pitch 200 innings once in their history. The 1971 squad featured Rudy May, Andy Messersmith, Tom Murphy, and Clyde Wright all eclipse the 200-inning plateau.

If the pitching staff is roughly the same, if not a little better, the Angels will need some increased offense to improve in 2012. Luckily they also signed this first baseman on Thursday. You may have heard of him...

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven.

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