July has just begun, and the Angels are again back at .500. Let’s take a dive into where the Angels stand within their division and stacked up against the rest of Major League Baseball.
The Angels currently rank 13thin hitting and 23rdin pitching. This alone tells the story of how the Angels season is going. I am beginning to see people all over twitter and in articles writing about whether the Angels need to be buyers or sellers, and that will be addressed near the end.
The Angels are finally at full strength offensively in what seems like forever. Officially having Shohei Ohtani back made an immediate impact to the lineup, and then adding Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons, the lineup is looking better than ever. Based on those guys continuously getting more and more back into the groove, the expectation is that the offense will be firing on all cylinders in no time. This, of course, will help, but there are some other changes that need to be made as soon as possible.
Here is where the Angels’ problems have rooted for a long time. They are currently ranked 25 in starting pitching within the MLB. Obviously, that’s really bad. If the Angels were buyers in any way as they approach the deadline, they will be searching for pitching to trade for. But Billy Eppler has voiced that he wants to continue to build the farm system up, which makes it unclear as to who would even be available. The starting pitching has to improve if the Angels have any hope of making a Wild Card run.
The relief pitching has been a sigh of relief for the most part, but the Angels have still had their issues with the back of the bullpen, especially with how much Cody Allen has struggled. But Kenyan Middleton should be making his way back to the field very soon, and if he is in the form he was in before his Tommy John surgery, he will be a huge addition. As of 6/28/2019, Middleton threw a bullpen and expects to face hitters soon, according to the Angels on MLB.com. But they have begun to slip in the rankings, which is expected based on how much work they have got this season. The Angels starters have to find a way to go deeper into ball games, otherwise, this trend will continue.
Buyers or Sellers?
Now, should the Angels be sellers or buyers? Personally, I think they should be sellers. Not huge sellers (like trading Justin Upton), but maybe trim up some players that are expendable or are on short contracts to gather pitching prospects and money to increase what they can spend on pitching in the coming years. I just do not believe getting one or two solid arms is worth throwing away the hard work that the Angels’ front office has done to build the farm system fairly quickly.
To square off the article, I feel like it is only right to touch on Tyler Skaggs. After hearing the news, I was in shock. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. After seeing what the Texas Rangers and the rest of the MLB has done to commemorate him, that’s when the tears started to flow. As die-hard fans, I think a ton of us get attached to the players on our favorite teams. Going through this affects so many people across the globe, and that just goes to show how great of a man Tyler Skaggs was. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the team to have the strength to get through these extremely difficult times.
Featured Image: Kevin Sullivan Stats: ESPN.com and MLB.com