2016 Record: 74-88
2016 Finish: 21st in MLB, 12th in AL
2016 in Review
It’s both surprising and not surprising that Yunel Escobar had a great year. In 2016, while playing fo the Washington Nationals, Escobar hit .314, his best season average since he joined the Majors. The Nationals have developed a pattern of getting rid of guys who post insane numbers in a season. They just did the same thing with Wilson Ramos, letting him walk after a remarkable season. Instead of watching him walk away from the team, the Nats traded Escobar to the Angels in exchange for two pitchers. This move was made to allow Anthony Rendon a starting spot at third. So that’s what it came down to, the Nationals wanted to give Rendon a shot and didn’t think Escobar could maintain those numbers. Well, guess what? HE KINDA DID! Escobar was able to successfully duplicate his 2015 in his first season in Los Angeles, hitting .304 and matching all of his numbers across the board. That’s a good sign for the Angels moving forward. You now have the guys who can hit and can field, all you need is to put those guys in positions to succeed. WHICH BRINGS US TO….
I think it’s time for the Angels to fire Mike Scioscia. After 17 years of leading the Angels, the time has come for Mike Scioscia to go. I know this comes as a bit of a shock, but it’s time. Mike Scioscia doesn’t know how to manage this team, which calls into question the future of this team. The Angels squads of the early 2000s when Scioscia took over were cut and dry. You had a shortstop who hit 9th, a 2nd baseman who hit 1st and a 3rd baseman who hit 5th. It was clear. There was a clear way to manage it. That doesn’t mean Scioscia is a bad manager, I’m just pointing out that he didn’t necessarily struggle the way he did these past two seasons.
The Angels were predicted by multiple reputable sources to be at the top of the standings come October, but that dream never materialized for a few reasons.
1) Pitching was a problem. Well, okay, the pitching didn’t live up to its potential. Jered Weaver is done in Anaheim and that’s a great thing moving forward. Shoemaker had a lackluster year, but he did show flashes of his younger self at points. Pitching just wasn’t there, but that’s only half the issue.
2) This lineup, crafted by Scioscia, is not smart and it’s a problem. The biggest issue for me if that you have a hard hitting heart of the order, with little to no speed or contact outside of it. Pujols played the majority of his games hitting in the 4 hole, and this was a rough year for Albert. Now, if Scioscia moves him back to the 5th spot, and add C.J. Cron to the cleanup spot, you take some pressure off Pujols and let him find his groove. It’s not really that complicated, and it’s an easy move to explain! Cron has a better OPS, I want him in that slot. BOOM. DONE. DO IT. Why can’t Scioscia do that? That’s my question.
I LOVE CAMERON MAYBIN. I have loved Cameron Maybin for a while now, and he’s exactly what the doctor ordered for LA. In his 94 games for Detroit, Maybin hit .315 and topped the majority of his numbers from 2015, where he played a full season. What I loved about Maybin is that he’ll round out the Angels outfield defensively, but he’ll provide speed at the top of the order. The Angels need a speedy leadoff hitter, especially with their big bats in the 2-6 spots.
However, I don’t want to get attached to the idea of a successful Angels team. Last year the angels were said to have all the pieces and this year is no different. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, goddamnit Mike Scioscia, not again.