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The Angels have a shown a few troubling concerns in the first series of the season. The biggest disappointment of this season has been the Angels bullpen. With Francisco Rodriguez signing with the Mets, the Angels went out and signed Brian Fuentes to become the everyday closer. Fuentes looked impressive on Opening Day, recording the save with a 1-2-3 inning, but on Wednesday night, Fuentes blew the save and gave up 3 Earned Runs in an inning. That was the 2nd game of the three games this season in which the bullpen gave up the lead. So far this season, the Angels bullpen has given up 9 Earned runs in 9.1 innings. On the other hand, the Angels starting pitching has looked good this season, even with Ervin Santana, John Lackey, and Kelvim Escobar on the Disabled List. Joe Saunders, Dustin Moseley, and the late Nick Adenhart all had strong outings in their season debut. On the hitting side, the Angels have had no trouble getting on base, but they have been atrocious when it comes to hitting in the runners. Even with the Angels batting average of .257, the Angels are averaging only 4 runs per game, and have had 21 strikeouts, compared to only 10 walks. Now adding in the trauma of the loss of Nick Adenhart, and with all the young talent the Angels have on the team, the Angels could have a rough few weeks, with the start of a series against the Red Sox tonight.
Nick Adenhart died just past midnight on April 9th, after getting hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Nick Adenhart was a predicted top 10 pick in the 2004 Amateur draft, but sustained an elbow injury just a few days before the draft, and required Tommy John surgery. Adenhart came back the Summer of 2005, and was named as the Angels best pitching prospect in 2006, a title he would hold for three years in a row. In 2007 at the age of 2o, he had a 3.65 ERA, and showed him self as one of the best young arms in the minors. He earned his first call-up to the MLB in 2008 when he replaced Dustin Moseley. In 3 starts, Adenhart went 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in 12 innings. After Lackey returned from injury, Adenhart was sent back to AAA where he had a shaky season with a 5.76 ERA. Going into Spring Training this season, Shane Loux, Dustin Moseley, and Nick Adenhart were competing for the last spot in the Angels rotation until Kelvim Escobar’s expected return from a torn rotator cuff in mid-May. Due to the injuries of John Lackey and Ervin Santana, all three were placed in the rotation. Adenhart made his first start of the 2009 season on April 8th when he hurled six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics. Just hours after the game, Nick Adenhart and three others were killed in a car accident. Rest in Peace Nick Adenhart, you will be missed by the Angel Family and all of Major League Baseball.