The Angels have Mike Trout and Shohei Otani. One is currently the best baseball player alive, the other is a modern day Babe Ruth that is revolutionizing the game. Those two player alone should make them a legit contender in any division in major league baseball. At least, that’s what many baseball analysts believed at the start of 2021. A popular pick to take the next step this season has been nothing but a disappointment. They currently are 20-27 just dead last in their division. The Angels have tons of talent but…they stink. Why?
They signed Jose Quintana.
Blaming Quintana is harsh but honestly what did they think they were getting. The Angels had to do something to bolster their rotation but adding Quintana wasn’t putting a bandaid on a cut it was like pouring vinegar on it. Quintana is second on the team in starts and features a glorious 8.53 ERA. The Angels should have seen this coming, the former White Sox All-Star was coming off of his worst season in the bigs with the Chicago Cubs. The argument could have been made that it was a small sample size and Wrigley field is a nightmare for any pitcher, but if you take a deeper dive you see that he is giving up massive hard hit rates. Currently Quintana has a HR/Flyball rate of 21%, that is five point higher than what was the highest of his career when he gave up a 16% HR/Flyball rate. He is giving up the long ball like he has a contract incentive.
The Angels have long had issues with their pitching staff and relying on a veteran that was showing regression in every major category is a huge reason why they stink. But it is not the only reason.
Quintana isn’t even the worst.
Signing an regressing veteran to fill in a need in your rotation is dumb. What is even dumber is spending all your money on bats when your staff is throwing BP to the opposing offenses. As a staff, the Angels are ranked dead last in ERA, dead last in WHIP, 28th in isolated power and 28th in OPS. This pitching staff is not only bad, it is historically pathetic.
Dylan Bundy was a great story in 2020 but he has regressed to the underwhelming pitcher that was in Baltimore.
Grffin Canning has potential. At least that is what I keep hearing. I have never actually seen it but I feel like the Angels keep telling themselves that Canning is good eventually they will be right.
The bullpen is laughable. Mike Mayers was closing for them at one point this season. The same Mayers that had a historically bad MLB debut with the Cardinals back in 2016 (look it up if you haven’t seen it.)
The Angels loaded their team with top of the order bats but that they could just fill some holes in the pen and rotation. It hasn’t worked and unless they randomly strike pitching gold, this team is going to live in the poor house.
Where is Jo Adell?
Angels top prospect Jo Adell was not an immediate impact bat when he made his debut in 2020. While he didn’t dazzle in his first taste of the bigs he has begun the minor league season showing the potential that he possesses. The former 10th overall pick of the Angels in 2017 has already hit 10 homeruns in just 17 games this season at triple-A. The Angels offense has found some hidden gems over the last two seasons with Jared Walsh and David Fletcher taking over major roles in the offense but injuries have depleted alot of the offense and as a team they could use some new blood to spark the team. Also David Fletcher is horrible right now.
Adell isn’t a big need. The offense has been productive despite losses of key contributors throughout the season. When a team is in a funk they need to find a way to inspire and the power and youth of Adell can help overcome the problems they are having with the pitching staff.