Cleat Geeks

5 Reasons The Angels Should Push 4 The Play-offs

Start with the obvious. The Angels have the best player in baseball. They have one of the best players ever to play baseball. He is so, so, so very good. If all the players in the world were thrown into a hat, and teams had to start over with a massive, 30-team expansion draft, the Angels would have the equivalent of the first-overall pick, and it’s not especially close. There’s a reason why Kole Calhoun got an extension.
What’s that? Forget it, I’m rolling. When a team starts with the best player in baseball, and he’s just 25 years old, that team has one of the biggest roster-building advantages in history. Here’s a player who’s almost twice as valuable as some of the very best players, and he’s all yours. Figure out the next 24 spots. It’s a simple math equation, really.
Last year, the Angels solved for x, but they did it in one of those adorable Amelia Bedelia ways that gets shared on Facebook. They lost 88 games, dropping out of the race around the end of May. In the wild American League West, they entered the off-season looking like a distant fourth- or fifth-place lock. They were, in the words of one square-jawed, no-nonsense writer, “hosed.” So the question is, What can be the 5 reasons that the Angels are contenders this year?

Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register

1. The Angels have trust in management with the manager himself, Mike Scioscia. The longest tenure manager with big game experience that knows what to do in a 162 game season to make his team believe that they are good.
2. The American League West division has been disappointing this year besides the Houston Astros. The Astros will run away with the division but teams like Texas and Seattle have got off to bad starts this season with losing streaks and injuries. Seattle looks like they will fall off more so.
3. Every other team is weak in the AL and does not want to run away with the wild card spots. The Angels come into today in the hunt for one of the wild card spots despite the fact that they are 1 game under 500, and 2 ½ from that would card spot and in 4th place in the AL West but the 2nd 3rd and 4th place teams are all within 11/2 games of each other.

4. The pitching is coming back. Tyler Skaggs went seven innings and fanned nine batters the other day against the Kansas City Royals. If this team can get a boost from guys like Skaggs and eventually Garret Richards. If those two guys come back and give the team something, that is huge.
5. If Mike Trout comes back sooner, You know that is a big time pick up for the Angels. Ironically, the Angels are over .500 since Trout was put on the DL. It’s almost like picking up a hitter that changes the game. So it’s possible that the Angels could look external for help but the help needs to come from internally first. Their lack of high- end prospect will make it difficult to make a move.
So I come here today not to suggest that, wink wink, you should buy stock in the Angels and their surprising 2017 title run, but that there were a lot of ways they could have screwed up a bad situation. Instead, they’ve made things a little better, while not mortgaging their plans to spend again in the post-Hamilton future. They could have splurged $120 million on Yoenis Cespedes. They could have come away with Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and a middle finger extended toward the north, and that might have been an improvement over all the moves up there, but it wouldn’t have made fiscal sense, not for a team still trying to establish a long-term identity.

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