Tha Sports Junkies 101

Los Angeles Angels: New Year, New Team

Los Angeles Angels: New Year, New Team Image via Sportsgraphics36

MLB

Los Angeles Angels

The 2016 season for the Los Angeles Angels was a let down for fans and the team. The team continued to fall after winning 98 games two short seasons ago. They finished the 2016 injury filled and disappointing campaign with a 74-88 record and fourth in the American League West.


Off-Season Moves:

It has been a quiet off-season for the Los Angeles Angels. They have added a little here and there but no big blockbuster moves. They went in with a need for some infield depth and were able to accomplish just that.

In November, the Los Angeles Angels traded RHP Victor Alcantara for outfielder Cameron Maybin. For a guy who played in only 94 games, Maybin had a rather productive season. He batted .315 totaling 110 hits, five for triples. Cameron also scored 65 runs this season, tied for third most of his career.

Later that month, free agent Andrew Bailey signed with the Angels. Last season, Bailey split time between the New York Yankees before being traded to Los Angeles. His overall stats for the year weren’t anything to brag about, but he did shine in his twelve appearances after the trade. He was a perfect six for six on save opportunities while posting a 2.28 ERA.

In December, they made some hot stove moves when they traded RHP Austin Adams and RHP Kyle McGowin to the Washington Nationals for second baseman Danny Espinosa. Espinosa will take over the everyday second baseman role this upcoming season. At the plate, Danny can be hit or miss. He batted .208 but still drove in 72 runs, scored 66 runs, and hit 24 home runs last season. If he is not performing, look for manager Mike Scioscia to pull him and give Cliff Pennington or Kaleb Stowart a chance to prove themselves.

Right before 2016 came to a close, the Angels signed free agent Ben Revere. Revere will give the team depth in the outfield. As many would say, 2016 wasn’t their year, and Revere would tell you the same. He saw a drop in his numbers and is looking to prove himself and that he can be the .306 hitter he was just a year before.

Expectations For 2017:

Major League Baseball is filled with a lot of great young teams with a plan. Los Angeles doesn’t seem to know what they are doing. A roster with the likes of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout should produce a record over .500, but that was not the case in 2016.

The number one goal is establishing a plan, and the plan is building the team around mega-superstar Mike Trout before he skips town for a better chance at a ring and more money. Another part that should be obviously implied but will be stated, is that they are looking to improve and show they are still relevant.

Mike Scoiscia’s tenure could come to an end this season after being with the team since 2000. Despite bringing the team a championship, the Angels look to cut ties with Scioscia if they continue this downhill fall. Scioscia is the longest tenured coach in major league baseball.

Last season saw injuries to their pitching staff. With full, healthy seasons from Huston Street, Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and others, they’ll have a chance to compete.

Yunel Escobar and Albert Pujols will continue to give the team some much needed help at the plate. Both saw some success at the plate. Despite just turning 37, Pujols continues to be a hitting asset. He drove in 119 runs and hit 31 home runs last season. He has seen his average dip quite a bit over the last six seasons. He hasn’t batted over .300 since 2010, and before that he was hitting .312 for ten straight seasons.

Expect another phenomenal year from Mike Trout. He is one of the most likable guys in the game right now. He not only gives fans something to watch and enjoy, but he also gives back to the fans by frequently showing up to crowds of fans to sign autographs. He is coming off his second MVP season of his career and only at 25 years of age. His production at the plate is already being compared to the legends of the game and rightfully so.

Summary:

Get Trout help now before he ends up on a team willing to pay his future record-breaking contract. The Angels have probably the best player in baseball on their team and are letting him go to waste. Next season will show what direction this team wants to go in, and if that takes getting a new manager, then they should do it. Angels fans, enjoy watching Mike Trout for 81 home games before it becomes to late.