While the Angels aren't quite as cold as they were earlier this month, the dignified, chasing-the-Astros start of the season has backed up to now, where the Angels are a game and a half behind the Texas Rangers for 2nd place. Even with Trout, Ohtani and Taylor Ward, something's just wrong with this team.
And the unlucky feel has continued even if the Angels have has a more win-friendly week. For starters, Anthony Rendon, who was playing pretty well honestly, is out for the rest of the season. A lot like the Josh Hamilton deal, the Rendon deal is looking like the Angels overpaid for someone who didn't have the career legs they were hoping for. This means that they have to platoon Luis Rengifo and Matt Duffy at third, which...while pretty efficient defensively, sure isn't as good as having Rendon there. I'll take somebody like Andrew Velasquez sliding into short and becoming a fan favorite on the basis of his defense alone, but I haven't gotten that feel from Duffy or Rengifo yet.
The team is also beginning to pile up demoted pitching prospects. We now have Reid Detmers, Jose Suarez, Chase Silseth and Jhonathan Diaz all chilling in the minors, and Janson Junk now up next to see if his starting material will fill that fourth spot. And while I'm glad that Ohtani, Thor, Sandoval and Lorenzen have been so efficient as a 4-man team, I genuinely think any of those other guys could be a solid fifth, and the Angels are just holding them back for service time because they're not confident in any of them. Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter earlier this year, now he's just supposed to head back to Salt Lake City like nothing's happened?
The bullpen has also been a disappointment, with trusted arms like Raisel Iglesias, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera and Archie Bradley handing in mediocre stuff. The Angels, a lot like the Phillies, are great at getting excellent players to come onto the team, but bad at getting them all to perform well together. And it saddens me.
This season is another excellent one for the Trout-Ohtani combo. Trout's having his best season in years, and already has a 4.2 WAR. Ohtani has 90 strikeouts as a pitcher and 70 hits as a batter, and he's far from finished. Those two alone are worth the price of admission, but the reality of this being the FIFTH Angels team to shrug its shoulders even with these two performing well is pretty upsetting. And I hope they can figure out a way to spread that energy throughout the team.
Coming Tomorrow- The Rays, to this day, look at this guy and go 'we really wanted Hunter Renfroe THAT BADLY, did we?'