With a promising start to the 2018 season the Los Angeles Angels went 13-3 through their first 16 games. However the wheels quickly fell off of as they then went 7-9 through their next 16 games while getting swept by both Boston and New York. Following is their record and winning percentage per month so far this season…
March: 2-1, .666
April: 14-11, .560
May: 14-15, .483
June: 7-4, .636
It is easy to see where the Angels’ problems lie by simply watching one of their games. So far their starting pitching has been pretty good. Between the six starters who have started at least 8 games for the Angels they have an average ERA of 3.43. Compared with the average ERA’s of the other AL West teams starters…Houston: 2.94, Seattle: 3.85, Oakland: 4.60, and Texas: 5.37 they have the second best ERA in their division among starting pitchers. On the other hand their relief pitching has been pretty horrible to this point. The Angels 5 most used relievers have pitched 160.6 innings and given up 60 runs. They also have 12 blown saves which ranks third in the majors this year.
So what should the they do to turn this trend around?
This past off season the Angels made a lot of moves to acquire talent that can hit consistently and so far it has paid off. However there are a few players who have not lived up to their potential this season. Kole Calhoun, Kaleb Cowert and Chris Young, to name a few, have not been producing the way they are accustomed to. While these three players still bring a lot of talent defensively they are currently a liability offensively. Clearly the Angels should try to move one or more of these players in return for quality relief pitching. If they could get someone like Kelvin Herrera from the Royals or a consistent closer like Brad Hand from the Padres or Raisel Iglesias from the Reds they could move their relievers around and there wouldn’t be so much worry when turning the game over to their bullpen.
In my opinion some of the hitting woes the Angels have been experiencing are due to a lack of confidence in their pitching. Watching the relievers come in and blow lead after lead puts a bad taste in the rest of the teams mouth and eats away at their confidence. If the Angels could get some more consistency in their bullpen I think they would instantly become a contender for the World Series this year.