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Even with the best player in baseball, the Angels were hovering around last place in the AL West. While their bats have been streaky, they were not terrible. If anything, their bats were the only things keeping them in games. Mike Trout was a big reason for this since he was batting with a .333 AVG and 8 home runs on the year.
Angels near last even with Trout healthy
Despite his best efforts, the Angels struggled their way through April and early May. They have dealt with some key injuries, like losing Rendon and Fletcher for a couple weeks, but they haven’t been hit too hard compared to other teams. So it’s rather odd that they are struggling so much despite not being too affected by injuries. When you look at the numbers though, you can see where they’re going wrong.
The Angels have given up the most runs in the majors with a whopping 240 runs in 44 games. That means that they give up an average of 5.45 runs and two of those games were part of a shortened 7-inning double-header. If they want to be competitive they would have to score the same amount of runs that they give up but they are averaging 1 whole run under that mark. The Angels have been averaging about 4.47 runs a game.
Offense is doing its part
One might think that their 197 runs is the reason why they’re losing because that total doesn’t seem like much but it’s actually good enough to get them a middle rank on offense. So scoring runs doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue because they score an average amount of runs. Ohtani is even the home run leader in all of baseball.
So how can this be solved? If you’re the Angels’ GM you have to realize that the reason the Angels are losing so much is because they are scoring 1 run less than they produce. One might think to get more hitters to raise the average runs scored by one run. Others might think that you can get better pitching to give up one less run a game.
Angels need to trade for pitching before its too late
What is easier to do? None. Hitting and pitching are two very hard things. But the Angels already have an average performing lineup that has the capabilities to be better. The pitching on the other hand has never really shown signs of life. They have no established arms in the rotation or in the bullpen.
With Mike Trout being out for possibly the next 2 months. The Angels’ GM shouldn’t be looking to replace his productivity, he should be looking to increase productivity from the pitching staff. Mike Trout’s absence has essentially forced the Angels’ GM to be active early before the trade deadline. The Angels will not survive 2 months of inactivity from the front offices. By the time Mike Trout comes back, they will be playing for individual stats instead of a playoff spot.
How aggressive should the GM be?
Trout’s injury will make the GM look for some big deals early in the season to bolster the teams chances to make the playoffs before they start to fade. There is no way that a team with Rendon, Ohtani, Walsh, and Fletcher should be sellers just because Mike Trout is out for a couple months. They need help sooner rather than later. So look for some big trades coming from Anaheim in the next couple of weeks. Unless the Angels decide they want to watch the playoffs from the couch this year again.
Possible trade pieces will include Tyler Ward, Juan Lagares, Jose Rojas, and Phil Gosselin who have all been given some playing time this year. Neither of them have been amazing but they have shown flashes that they can be good ball players at the major league level.