Matt Slocum/ LA Times
As we know them, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim started the season's first two months as hot as any team. The Angels, at one point, had other baseball writers alike thinking of the possibility of an LA/LA or NY/NY World Series. The Angels held 1st in the AL West for a good part of April and May before the current 11-game losing skid.
A roster that features 3x MVP Mike Trout, 2-way sensation MVP Shohei Ohtani, Noah Syndergaard aka Thor, and one of the best CP in Raisel Iglesias, the Angels roster was built to win 11 in a row and not lose 11 in a row. The Angel's last win came on May 24th, against the Texas Rangers, so what has happened since? Have injuries impacted this team, poor managing, offensive struggles, pitching woes, or all the above?
The Angels can't use the injury card as no players on the MLB roster were placed on the IL until June 5th; however, 3B Anthony Rendon has been dealing with swelling and inflammation in his wrist, while OF Taylor Ward was placed on the IL on 6/5 as well. Cross injuries are off the list of reasons why the Angels might be broken.
First, let's look at the offense. The buck stops and ends with Trout and Ohtani for Angel's offense. Over the past seven days, including 6/5, Trout's slash line is .000/.080/.000 over 23AB. Ohtani slashes the line over the last seven days: .250/.423/.600. All-Star 1B Jared Walsh has been performing along with Ohtani posting a .333/.360/.458 over the last seven days and 24AB. However, the Angels are slashing .201/.274/.332 with a .606OPS, and those numbers don't tell the whole story.
Digging deeper into stats offensive, the Angels have a Runs Created Per 27 Outs(RC/27) of 3.2. Along with the lack of run creation, the Angels aren't helping themselves as they are as a team seeing 3.8P/PA(Pitches per plate appearance) and only have 15XBH over the last seven days.
The key for the offense is to slow down at the plate, see more pitches, and get in good hitters counts to be allowed to produce and get on base. The 53SO-16BB tells the team's approach at the plate is impatient and trying to do too much.
We can't blame all 11 losses on just the offense alone; there is another crucial element to an MLB club winning: the pitching staff. Over the last seven days, the Angels have had 1 SP work into the 6th inning. Over the last week, Sandoval, Ohtani, and Syndergaard each went 3IP or less, which means the pen has had to work overtime to get through games. During these starts, each pitch allowed 4ER or more in its appearance.
The Angels pitching staff has only 2 Holds on the ledger in the last week, both by Oliver Ortega, which says that the staff has been unable to hold the lead or tie and not allow the offense a chance. Is a likely outcome. Over the last seven days, the staff has an 8.08ERA/1.88WHIP allowed 44ER, while the offense has only produced 15R scored.
Digging deeper into the pitching woes, there has been 0 quality starts in the past week, 12HR given up, and opponents are teeing off against Angels pitching to a.310OBA. The offense has only hit 5HR in the last seven days, less than half than the pitching staff has allowed against. It can be nearly impossible to win games with pitching surrendering nearly 3x as many runs as your offense produces.
Lastly, let's look at the Manager at the helm. Joe Maddon holds a record of 130-146(as of 6/5) since taking over as the Angels Manager entering the Pandemic Shortened 2020 season for a .471 W-L%. With two MVP players and a $185MM payroll, Maddon could be on his way out in LA if the wins don't start piling up and the losses continue. After all, we did see the Phillies move on from Manager Joe Girardi, who was in a similar situation. Maddon could be on the hot seat.
Hitting and pitching combined to put the Angels on the 11-game skip at right at .500, 2nd place in the AL West at 27-28, and still, despite it all, are only 0.5G out of the Wild Card. The Angels are back home to continue their 13G in 13 days stretch against the Red Sox, who are 6-4 in their last ten entering today, 6/6, followed by the RED HOT Mets for a 3-game weekend series. There are 107 games left heading into today's game, plenty of times to get back on track. I had the Angels going 80-82 before the season began; it could be an accurate outcome at their current pace.
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