Recent Struggles A Sign Of Things To Come

Recent Struggles A Sign Of Things To Come

By: William Plashkey

Back in October, the Los Angeles Angels celebrated their third MLB Pro championship in a span of four years. The franchise was riding a wave that all franchises strive to reach. Las Vegas sportsbooks immediately pegged the Angels as the team to beat in 2019.

Then the off-season began. An organization that has packed its stadium full for years, a team that has made deep playoff runs, with an owner in Arte Moreno who has been more than generous in terms of allowing for a high-payroll, decided to go cheap. The Angels refused to negotiate extensions with Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman. The once feared bullpen lost two key pieces, this comes just months after the team refused to extend Jordan Walden ultimately leading to his trade to Tampa Bay.

During free-agency the Angels sat back. They were rumored to be in contention for several prized free-agents, only to ultimately fall short. The team replaced the loses of Chapman and Jansen with Trevor Rosenthal and Anthony Meo. Meo has spent the past month in the minors and Rosenthal has been average at best.

The Angels offense carried the team to a hot start. Kaleb Cowart began the year looking like an MVP candidate. Then, the bats cooled. Daniel Paolini is barely hitting .200 and has been batting in the two-hole. Nomar Mazara’s batting average is nearly thirty-points lower than it was last year, his on-base percentage is over sixty-points lower. As the offense has faltered, so have the wins. The Angels are a mere 3-7 in June and have just four wins in their last fourteen games.

The Toronto Blue Jays recently added Gary Sanchez, Esteban Hernandez, and Tommy Hanson.

The Minnesota Twins recently added Nathan Eovaldi and Nolan Arenado.

The Seattle Mariners recently added Pablo Sandoval and Prince Fielder.

The Houston Astros recently added Jose Gonzalez.

Go back a little further and remember that the Texas Rangers added James Kaprielian via trade last year, the Tampa Bay Rays added Walden, Strasburg, and Phillipe Aumont last year.

While the rest of the American League finds ways to get better now, the Angels do not.

The Angels recently spent cash to acquire four prospects. Four prospects that do not solve any of the Angels immediate needs. Four prospects that do not allow the Angels to stay with the rest of the American League.

While the Angels currently sit on top of the American League West. The margin for error the team had in the past is now gone. If the Angels do not do something soon, it will not just be the Mariners who zoom past them. The Rangers and Astros are well within striking distance and the Oakland A’s are a team that have taken four of six games against the Angels over the last weeks.

For years the American League ran through Anaheim. In the blink of an eye, that is changing. While play on the field could be better, it’s the actions, or rather inactions, of the front-office that are the most alarming. General Manager Matt Eisenberg clearly is dealing with complacency and entitlement. The Angels look like a team that expects to win based off of their past accomplishments, not a team hungry to compete.

While the Angels putter along, they will soon find themselves being blown past by the rest of the American League.