Last week, ESPN had the Angels at #22 in their power rankings, and two of the teams worse off than the Angels are the Twins (who swept us), and the Brewers (who just beat us in a series). It won't be a surprise to see the Angles drop a few more notches after this past disastrous week. It's no longer "just April". Players who have not been performing well are now 30 games into the season. Our offense is performing as feared, our pitching staff has been decimated, and injuries are already taking a toll on a team with little depth. Not exactly a good week, right?
Trade Mike Trout? Nope. We'd be #30 in the power rankings if we did that. Trout is just about the only thing keeping the Angels from being a completely forgettable team in 2016. This past week was a sign of things to come and we should probably just get used to it. Mediocre days ahead are about all we can hope. This realization doesn't make us any less of fans, just realists. Fans of the Cubs have realized this for years - the Cubs used to suck and they still loved them. Can we do the same in Anaheim?
This past week wasn't a complete loss. There was definitely some bad, but also a bit of good. Not all is lost.
C.J. Cron has figured things out and has made the good list two weeks in a row. This past week he hit .429, though only had 14 AB.
Mike Trout is almost always on this list. Is that a given? All hail the King Fish! Trout is the only thing keeping us all from swimming downstream into certain doom. 2 HR, 8 RBI, and a .481 OBP. Need I say more?
Yunel Escobar and Kole Calhoun were the only other players to bat higher than .238 and it's good thing they are on the team.
Oh wait, Rafael Ortega also hit above .238 and for his .385 OBP and ZERO strikeouts last week, he was rewarded with a plane ticket to Salt Lake City because the team would rather waste space on Ji-sub-100 Choi.
Once again, our bullpen impressed. All of them (not looking at you AGAIN, Joe Smith) were amazing. Aside from Smith, the bullpen though 19.1 innings, gave up only 1 run. We were named bullpen of the week by MLB.
It pains me a little to put him here, but credit were credit is due. Since he got called back up, Cam Bedrosian has struck out 8 batters through 4 innings, giving up only 2 hits, and even struck out 5 in a row for all 5 of his outs in his first appearance since being called back up.
Jered Weaver had one of his best games of the year on Saturday, striking out 5 over 6 innings and only giving up 1 ER, but it was only good for a no decision, thanks to a lethargic offense.
Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney both have UCL damage. Richards will probably need surgery and Heaney may be headed there as well if his rehab doesn't work. Losing your 1 & 2 pitchers makes for one hell of a bad week.
Not enough injuries for you? Okay, let's throw some salt on the wound and tell you that Andrelton Simmons also sprained his thumb (getting an MRI on Monday). Remember, Simmons is who we got for Aybar and two amazing pitching prospects that could have been helping us next year.
Our starting pitchers gave up 24 ER in 30 innings. This is the definition of horrible. If you can't start the game strong, and your offense is not offensing, you might as well go home early.
Hector Santiago is, by some accounts, the new ace of the team. How ace-worthy does as 5.06 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, and .364 BAA sound? If this is the best starting pitcher we have, it's going to be a long, long season.
Ji-Man Choi is still taking up a roster spot, and still hitting at a pace that just about any minor league player could out-perform. Last week he was 0 for 5 and is hitting .059 on the year.
Cliff Pennington is our new SS for a while and went 1 for 11 for last week. Just when we thought the batting average couldn't get worse for that position.
Good news! Daniel Nava is back. Bad news - he went 1 for 9 last week. I miss Ortega already.
The Angels are the worst base running team in all of baseball this season. Surprised? At least last week they were only 29th, so that's progress I guess.
Arte Moreno gets an honorable mention this week (and probably should every week). Our team lacks depth in a big, big way. Our farm system lacks talent. This is directly related to Moreno and can be elaborated on in future posts (and probably will be).
Hector Santiago had more hits than Choi last week. Is this a bad thing?
Mike Trout is the ONLY player to hit a HR in the past 7 days. A little help? Anyone??