Home Angels The Good, Bad, and the Ugly (So Far) of the 2019 Angels

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly (So Far) of the 2019 Angels

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Let’s dive into which players got them 30 wins with 99 games left in the season and which players have hurt the Angels chances at getting to the playoffs in 2019.

On the season, the Angels are in fourth place, 12.5 games behind the Houston Astros, but luckily only 3 games back in the American League Wild Card race.

The Good

Tommy LaStella

The Angels traded cash considerations for him. They virtually got a successful pinch hitter for nothing. Now that he’s been given the chance to play every day, he’s thrived. He’s currently batting .311 with 13 home runs and 35 runs batted in and he has a surprising .903 OPS. Tommy Boy has proven his doubters wrong!

David Fletcher

Despite Brad Ausmus not giving him an exact spot in the lineup (sometimes he’s batting lead-off, sometimes he’s batting 9th, and today he batted 5th), he has made the most of his opportunities. He’s batting over .300 as well (.312 to be exact), only 15 strikeouts in 218 at-bats, 5 stolen bases, and a couple of triples. He’s also fairly solid defensively and has a WAR of 1.8. He might be the most underrated infielder in baseball.

Brian Goodwin

The Angels claimed him off of waivers from the Kansas City Royals on March  27th ironically the day before Justin Upton got injured in spring training due to turf toe. He has filled in nicely in left field. Although Goodwin’s defense isn’t spectacular (Upton isn’t much better), Goodwin has brought a very consistent bat with him. He’s batting .283 with 6 home runs, 21 RBIs, and 11 doubles in 185 at bats.

Mike Trout

Mike had recently gone on a slump in May. As of May 29, he had been down to .276 after a 22-game span when he hit only .234. However, even when Trout is struggling, he still gets on base, hence his .463 on-base percentage, which is the best of his career. But Trout is back to doing what Trout usually does and he just hit another home run (16th) while increasing his batting average back up to .293.

Ty Buttrey

Why Brad Ausmus doesn’t have him closing baseball games is beyond anyone’s imagination. Nothing against Hansel Robles, but Buttrey has been lights out all season. For him to only get appearances in the 7th inning is criminal. In 31 innings, he has given up 26 hits, 6 earned runs (1.74 ERA), 1 home run, only 6 walks, and he has struck out a total of 37 batters. Let’s repeat this once again: Ty Buttrey should be the closer!

The Bad

Kole Calhoun

Yes, Calhoun’s defense is good and yes he does have 12 home runs. He’s signed through the end of this year with a $14 million club option in 2020. With the Halos loaded with depth in the minors having outfielders Jo Adell (The Angels top prospect), Brandon Marsh (Angels #3 prospect), and Jordyn Adams (Angels #6 prospect) coming up in the near future, Kole needs to start hitting better than .237 (.208 last season) for the Angels to fork over $14 million in 2020. Also, when Justin Upton comes back, where does that leave a better hitting Brian Goodwin? That will be an interesting decision that the Angels will have to make.

Justin Anderson

Anderson has had a very disappointing season. In his rookie season last season, he was lights out until September when he struggled a bit. However, he still finished the season pitching in 57 games (55 innings) and giving up only giving up 42 hits and striking out 67. He did walk 40 batters, which was his biggest weakness a year ago. However, his ERA was a decent 4.07 to begin his major league career. This season has been a different story as he hasn’t been near as dominating. In 21 innings, he’s given up 21 hits, walked 11, and has a 5.14 ERA.

Tyler Skaggs

After being activated from the injured list on April 26, Skaggs was thought to boost the Halos rotation. Well, not exactly. He had an up-and-down May and had a pretty poor outing today going 4 innings, giving up 6 runs, 4 walks, and throwing 92 pitches. His ERA jumped from 4.16 to 4.97 after another disappointing outing. He was considered the Angels #2 pitcher last season. If he doesn’t get it going, the Angels will definitely not make the playoffs. That’s how much they really need him.

Injury Bug

March 28 was a bad day for Angels players all around and many went on the injured list. Nick Tropeano had a shoulder injury, Taylor Cole had right shoulder strain, Shohei Ohtani had to recover from his right elbow UCL injury, Michael Hermosillo had a core muscle injury, Andrew Heaney had left elbow inflammation, and Justin Upton went on the 60-day injured list due to a turf toe injury in Spring Training.

Another big blow was when Andrelton Simmons went on the disabled list two weeks ago due to a Grade 3 ankle sprain. Good news: Andrew Heaney is back and pitching well, Upton is beginning a rehab assignment while hoping to return by the end of the month, and Andrelton Simmons is progressing faster than expected. However, there isn’t a timetable for Simmons’ return and he won’t be back for at least one more month.

The Ugly

Zack Cozart

Cozart was injured most of last season after he signed a 3-year, $38 million contracts. He had a season-ending shoulder injury that he sustained while diving for a ground ball during the Angels’ game against the Mariners on June 13, 2018. That caused him to finish the season batting .219 with 5 home runs and 19 runs batted in. This season, he is batting .124 in 97 at-bats and is currently in the injured list due to neck strain. His Angels career has been nothing short of abysmal and he’s just in the second year of his three-year contract.

Cody Allen

After signing a 1-year $9 million contract, Cody Allen started off April nicely but then struggled from there. His ERA was over 5, then he got injured on April 26th due to lumbar spine strain, and lost his closer’s role to Hansel Robles. Now Allen only comes in in minor situations.

Justin Bour

The Halos signed Bour to a 1-year $2.5 million contract to split time at first base with Pujols and would also be the DH if Ohtani needed rest. Bour started the season batting .163 with 4 home runs and 14 runs batted in (98 at-bats). To make matters worse, he struck out 31 times. On May 15, he was sent to AAA Salt Lake City to work on his hitting. More likely than not, you will have seen the last of Bour in a Halos uniform.

Matt Harvey

Everyone knows the Matt Harvey story by now. He was the Dark Knight when he was with the Mets (13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 2015), then couldn’t get anyone out, so the Mets got tired of him and relegated him to the bullpen. This caused a rift between Harvey and the Mets, in turn, caused the Mets to want to designate him for assignment. Surprisingly enough, New York actually got a trade partner instead.

The Mets traded Harvey to the Reds along with cash for catcher Devin Mesoraco. Harvey then had a pedestrian 7-7 record with the Reds with a 4.50 ERA, although he gave up 21 home runs. Then the Angels thought maybe, just maybe Harvey was turning things around. Sadly for Harvey and the Halos, this definitely was the wrong assumption. They paid him $11 million for a one-year deal to get demoted to AAA while also recovering from upper back strain. Before getting dumped to AAA (temporarily?) Harvey had been a disaster going 2-4 with a 7.50 ERA while giving up 11 home runs in just 48 innings. He has also walked 21 and only struck out 35 batters.

Trevor Cahill

This is the third bad one-year deal for a pitcher in 2019. The Angels are paying him $9 million this season and fortunately for him still has a rotation spot since the Halos don’t want to admit that they overspent for a pitcher that has gone 2-6 with a 7.18 ERA and has given up 16 home runs in 57.2 innings. Yikes.

The Angels are better off putting Jaime Barria back into the rotation after sending him to AAA three days before Opening Day to acquire another bad pitcher that they got rid of last month (Chris Stratton). Another option is to bring back Jose Suarez who had an excellent debut against the Seattle Mariners (5.2 innings, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts).

Ausmus has seemed to think that Cahill hasn’t pitched that bad, but maybe he’s just saying that so that he doesn’t make Eppler feel worse than he should already be feeling with this poor signing.

Featured Image: Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star News
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