We’re now a few days into 2017, and as joyous as it always is to usher in a new year, there is always some anxiety or uncertainty that comes along with it. What will the new year hold? This question could pertain to your life, your career, your relationships, all with question marks on the horizon, but I want to get down to the REALLY important stuff on the horizon: The Angels’ 2017 season.
So what sort of questions do the Halos face in the coming year? What will be on every fans mind?
Will Mike Trout be “wasted” again? It’s hard to go a few months without seeing a “Are the Angels wasting Mike Trout’s prime” article here or there. While I may personally be tired of that line of thought, it’s still a valid question that many fans have in the back of their minds. The team will need another playoff appearance or two to keep this monkey off their back, but more than that, they’ll have to have some post-season success (losing 0-4 in an ALDS, as we’ve learned, doesn’t do much to quell the pitchfork-carrying crowd).
Can their pitching staff avoid the injury bug? Let’s all hope that 2016 was a fluke when it came to injuries to the starting rotation. It had to be a fluke, right? RIGHT?!?
Will the team hit their 3 million attendance number once again? Those seats have become more and more empty in the last couple seasons, and you’d think that one more lackluster squad would be the nail in the coffin of Arte Moreno’s 13 year streak of having 3 million+ fans at the Big A. Of course, they may have ways around this one.
Is Mike Scioscia going to get fired? Nope. Barring him benching Mike Trout every game and/or punching Arte Moreno in the face repeatedly, there is little Scioscia can do that’d get him fired at this point. It isn’t going to happen.
Is Albert Pujols done? He’s made the move to DH, and had a decent 2016, if you really care about homers and RBIs. But the foot injuries are still popping up, and the slugging can only hang on so long without solid footing underneath him. Pujols is going to have to hang them up one of these days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he never made it to the end of his contract. Could this be the year? OK, probably not, but Pujols is still a question mark to me, nonetheless.
Will the Maybin/Rever LF attack prove to be deadly or DOA? It’s been so, so long since we’ve had some nice production from LF, but now Billy Eppler has added a couple names that could definitely make the team more competitive and competent in that spot: Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere. There is speed there, and good glove work...the hitting, though, may be streaky, however. I’m excited to see what these dudes can do, though.
Jered Weaver? Not really much to question here, other than where he’ll end up (if anywhere at all, that is) I’m definitely curious to find out if we’ve seen the last of Weaver pitching in the bigs, let alone for the Halos. Bummer, if so. Total bummer.
Will the Angels make the playoffs? The AL West has gotten tougher, but still, there are reasons to get hyped. The team, if they can stay healthy, has a shot at major improvements over last year’s output. On paper, I like this team more than 2015 or 2016, and if they keep the big names off the DL, then they will for sure do some damage.
Now, what do you see as the biggest questions facing our beloved franchise in 2017?