To say that this season has been disappointing is an understatement if you’re an Angels’ fan. I would like to think of myself as a realistic fan. I never dream too big and I try to make realistic goals for the teams I support. It is with a heavy heart that I state that I am a life-long Angels’ fan. And now with the Tommy La Stella trade, my heart hurts even more.
This 2020 season filled me with hope, hope that I hadn’t felt since 2015 (the last year that I genuinely believed that the Angels could make the playoffs). The Angels were getting Ohtani back in the rotation and the delayed start to the season meant that Canning could be healthy at the start. And I hoped Heaney could improve from last year so that we has 3 solid starters in the rotation.
Then the Angels had just signed Rendon which added to their stacked lineup. I mean if you have Fletcher, La Stella, Trout, Rendon, Ohtani, Goodwin, and Simmons starting your lineup, you should be able to slug out some wins. And to top it all off, the postseason format had been expanded to 8 teams from each league. Honestly, playing .500 baseball would most likely get them in the playoffs.
Starting Pitching Fails Again
But things have been going from bad to worse. Ohtani had the worst 2 outings he has probably ever had, one of them he failed to record a single out. Then it was reported that he was shutdown for the rest of the season as a pitcher. Then Canning hasn’t lived up to the hype that he built up last year. And then Rendon couldn’t hit the ball for the first 2 weeks of the season. The only ray of hope had been Bundy in the starting rotation.
Over recent weeks Rendon has found his stride, Trout is being Trout, and Fletcher is as phenomenal as ever. But that’s where the good news ends. The starting pitching for the Angels has been nonexistent, even Bundy is looking average now. Their bullpen is as volatile as the current stock market.
All of this caused them to just recently hit a 2 – 11 record over a span of 13 games, one of the franchise’s worst 13 game spans. As of August 29, 2020, they are 11 – 22, bad enough to be the 2nd worst in the American League. That also puts the Angels at 6.5 games behind a playoff spot, putting them out of a realistic chance to make the playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong, they can make it but the chances are very slim. They could get a lot slimmer soon because they have recently made a transaction that points to them being sellers in the trading market. Looks like all hope has been lost in the Angels organization.
Tommy La Stella Traded
Tommy La Stella was a fan favorite in Anaheim. He played the game with heart and never lacked effort. La Stella was a breakout player last year, as he made his first ever All-Star appearance. This year he was performing well again, batting with an average of .273.
The Angels received Franklin Barreto in return from the A’s. Barreto has not performed well during his time in the big leagues and he plays relatively the same defensively as La Stella. The only reasoning behind this move is that he has some control under him going into the next year, whereas La Stella is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
Angels are Clear Sellers After La Stella Trade
The Angels should be making trades to get pitching, but that will probably cost them a higher caliber player with some control left like Goodwin or Fletcher. Goodwin being the most likely to go, Fletcher has established a cult following with the Angels’ fans so he’s not likely to go.
One thing is clear from all of this. The Angels look to be planning for 2021 already. Mike Trout will miss the playoffs again, making it 8 out of 9 seasons.