Thursday, September 14, 2023

Reid the Room


Let's just...go down the Angels' 2023 Opening Day Lineup, and see how things have gone for 'em:

LF: Taylor Ward: has been injured for the past few months, despite another strong season.
CF: Mike Trout: did his usual mid-year injury thing, came back for 2 days and immediately returned to the IL.
DH: Shohei Ohtani: Still healthy, yes, but won't pitch til likely 2025 and has missed a week of play.
3B: Anthony Rendon, has played 43 games this season on account of injuries and tomfoolery
RF: Hunter Renfroe, now on the Reds.
2B: Luis Rengifo, took a lot of the slack and then got injured last week.
1B: Brandon Drury, who missed some time midyear but has been steady during the second half. A rare healthy person on this damned team.
SS: Gio Urshela. Had a decent start and was hitting .299 but had a nasty injury that abruptly ended his year.
C: Logan O'Hoppe, had a blistering start to the season only to immediately get injured and not return til the season was already lost.

And just for comparison's sake, their Opening Day opponents, the Oakland Athletics, have five active players from that opening day lineup still suiting up on a daily basis. FIVE...versus two and a half. And the five comes from the worst team in baseball. 

I'm honestly getting really sick of writing about how badly the Angels have shit the bed this year, because it's really not fun to watch. I've got Angels fans that read this blog, it's not fun for them, this felt like 'THE year' for a bit, and then the 'everything falling apart' section of the year was even more brutal than usual. Now, not only is Ohtani probably on the way out, but now the Angels management has been quoted in saying they're open to trading Trout over the offseason, which means Mickey Moniak and Logan O'Hoppe might get some of their old teammates back. 

And look, I don't know if me, a Yankee fan, calling this Angels team snakebitten is the pot calling the kettle black or anything, but the Yankees have more of a chance at the wild card than the Angels. The Angels are 11 games under .500, the Yankees are flirting with .500 as we speak; we're both bad, but the Angels had slightly lower expectations and still fell further. What I will say is that the Angels' call-ups down the stretch have been more effective than the Yankees'; Logan Schanuel and Zach Neto are pieces this team could rely on going forward, and Jordyn Adams and Kyren Paris are intriguing pieces even if they haven't completely acclimated to the bigs yet. If there's an exodus, there is some hope.

Plus, if there is an exodus next year, there will still be a lot of pitchers that stick around. Anderson's signed for a while, and all of Canning, Sandoval and Detmers should be around for the next few years, unless the Angels make any random cuts. Reid Detmers has been helpful lately, and has a 4.77 ERA and 154 Ks in 26 games. Detmers, if anything, has been steady, consistent, and somewhat distracting of all the injuries. Next year, having most of this rotation intact will give the Angels a step up over many other rebuilders.

I really hope next year gives the Angels more good news than this one. It's gotta be exhausting. I wish it was different, I wish things could go right all the way through. Sometimes the baseball gods think otherwise.

Coming Tomorrow- An outfielder who, around this time last year, was prepping for a playoff run. Not the case this year.

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