With the flurry of moves GM Billy Eppler made during the off-season, there was a sense of optimism among Angels fans. Maybe this year will be the year that Mike Trout and crew will get to the World Series and get Trout his long-awaited ring. From picking up prized international free agent Shohei Ohtani to adding the likes of Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart, the Angels were hoping to be Houston's competition in the AL West.
And it seemed like that would be the case at the beginning of the year, with the Angels off to a scorching 13-3 start. However, better competition and several injuries (including to Ohtani) have suddenly derailed the Angels' season. Currently in a six-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Angels have even been passed up in the standings by red-hot Oakland.
The Angels haven't been particularly good against the main competition, the Yankees and the Red Sox. In fact, the Angels are 1-11 against both AL East powers this season. Against Boston, the Angels were outscored, 49-12, in the season series as they got swept by Boston.
Another problem that the Angels have is the factor of age. Players like Albert Pujols (38), Ian Kinsler (36), Justin Upton (30), Kole Calhoun (30), and Luis Valbuena (32) constitute an aging lineup that are past or nearing the end of their primes. Mike Trout is having another historic season, but it doesn't help that players like Ian Kinsler contribute a paltry .278 OBP to the lineup or having Kole Calhoun contribute a .226 OBP.
The good news for the Angels is that Billy Eppler also did a little reloading on their farm system. Adding prospects like Kevin Maitan will help Mike Trout in the future if he sticks around. The Angels also have Top 100 prospects like Brandon Marsh and Griffin Canning to add in the future. All may be lost right now, but the Angels do have some backup in case things head south this season.
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