36–36. 500. The current record of the Angels is fine. We have been able to keep ourselves together and not fully fall apart since Trout has gone down. While our roster still feels flailing at times, the little things have truly mattered this season and kept us in contention for a possible wild card slot. Here are 5 things I like and dislike from this season.
Like #1 Cameron Maybin
Through 52 games, Maybin has posted a WAR of 2.1, he has an OBP of .375, and has traversed the outfield grass incredibly. I’ll be the first to say that I was terrified that when the Angel acquired Maybin that he’d be our next Gary Matthews Jr., instead he’s kept up the pace he was at last year. Fascinating that the former top prospect is finally performing ten years later.
Dislike #1 Danny Espinosa
When learning about the prospect of replacing Johnny Giavotella, I got so excited. I was praying that Espinosa could display some of the pop in his bat from his early days in Washington. Instead, he’s been one of the absolute worst hitters so far this season, and has posted a WAR of -0.9. While Cliff Pennington hasn’t hit well either, he at least has a solid glove and good range.
Like #2 Our Bullpen
Our starting rotation feels filled with 4th, 5th, and fringe starters. Shoemaker has not been the same since his head injury, and overall we don’t even have young guys contributing. The Bullpen has been a surprising godsend for us. Parker, Pettit, and Norris have been a killer trio.
Still wishing good recoveries to Richards, Heaney, and Tropeano.
Dislike #2 Lack of hitting from “sluggers”
CJ Cron has an OPS of .574, and Pujols a .681. Each of them are slugging less than Andrelton Simmons, our defense first shortstop. It’s annoying that at these positions were are slotting in these guys whose pure objective purpose is to hit, and not only are they not doing it, but being detriments to our team. I understand the pains of Pujols, it’s Cron that really hurts. Luis Valbuena seemed like the right replacement, though he’s struggling as badly.
Like #3 Andrelton Simmons, Godstop Extraordinaire
He’s the same Simmons defensively, maybe a tiny drop-off actually. However, he has been contributing offensively, and is our 3rd best hitter. His WAR has hit 2.8, meaning he is currently on pace to have the highest non Trout WAR for our team since 2013.
Dislike #3 and #4 Where do we find a catcher?
This has been my biggest pain since we got rid of Napoli. Ianetta was fine until he completely dropped off. Since then we’ve gone through Carlos Perez, Jett Gandy, and are currently on our Martin Maldonaldo phase. I just want a catcher who can anchor us defensively, or be able to hit the ball.
P.S. Maldonado hasn’t been that bad, just uninspiring so far. Plus he’s already 30.
Like #4 Eric Young Jr.
The son of Eric Young is a journeyman like his father. His journey to Anaheim has been glorious so far. Through 70 plate appearances, he has a WAR of 1.3, an OPS of .917, and has been a star. I know this is only a hot streak. The great thing is that he’s supposed to be a non-contributor who fills in slots, and now he is helping us win games. Eric is not part of our future, but he’s been crucial to keeping our team together while Trout is down.
Dislike #5 Ricky Nolasco
Nolasco was a solid pitcher in his younger days. He gets referred to with words like “innings eater”. Innings eater means you’re an average pitcher who is able to pitch 6 innings a game consistently every season. Ricky currently has an ERA of 5.01. He was great during his end of year stretch with us last season. Before then he had an ERA of 5+ in Minnesota and has been the same pitcher he is now.
I don’t mind someone going through a bad stretch, it’s just tough to be giving these innings to a 34 year old who peaked a few years ago, and is getting torn up weekly.
Like #5 Mike Trout is doing great in rehab and will be back before ASG