LA Angels News

Did LA Angels 1st Year Coaches Charles Nagy & Dave Hansen Do Their Job In 2016?

By David Rice
Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Charles Nagy (41) talks to starting pitcher Jered Weaver (36) and catcher Geovany Soto (18) in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Charles Nagy (41) talks to starting pitcher Jered Weaver (36) and catcher Geovany Soto (18) in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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When Billy Eppler came in as LA Angels general manager last October, his first move was not renewing the contracts of pitching coach Mike Butcher & hitting coach Don Baylor.

That made 2016 the first year for Charles Nagy as LA Angels pitching coach and Dave Hansen as team hitting coach.  So the question is how did they do.

The lack of success as a whole cannot be blamed on Nagy since there was a plethora of injuries. However, there was a big drop-off numbers-wise.  In 2016 the Angels staff had a team ERA of 4.28 which 10th out of 14 teams in the American League and 21st overall.  Compared to 2015 when the staff ERA was 3.94 which was 6th in the AL and 13th overall.

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The WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) was also up from 2015.  The Angels WHIP was 1.392 which was 13th out of 14 AL teams, and 25th overall. This is compared to last season when the WHIP was 1.284 which was 5th in the AL and 19th overall. Strikeouts also were down considerably as the Angels had only 1164 K’s as compared to 1236 in 2015.  The Angels ranked last in the AL in strikeouts and 29th overall in MLB.

Like I said before you can’t blame Nagy much for this decline because of all the injuries.  He and manager Mike Scioscia did a good job of shuffling things around when injuries hit.  Also with so many starters being injured, the bullpen was taxed more as well which led to some inflated bullpen numbers.  The 2017 season will tell more about Nagy’s ability to handle a pitching staff.

On the flip side the Angels hitting or lack thereof could not be blamed on new hitting coach Dave Hansen.  Many categories showed improvement.  A few did not. One of the most important categories was runs per game which saw the Angels rise up from 4.08 runs per game last season to 4.43 runs per game.  The team batting average also jumped from .246 to .260.  This was the fifth in the AL and 8th overall.

One category that was extremely low was home runs.  The Angels hit only 155 home runs compared to 176 home runs in 2015.  Another positive was the team on-base percentage (OBP) was up from .307 in 2015  to .322 in 2016.  The Angels ranked 6th in the AL and 14th overall compared to 12th in the Al in 2015 and 25th overall last season.  So with the exception of home runs the Angels went up in most major hitting categories.

The best hitting statistics that I think is very telling is walks per game and strikeouts per game.  The Angels led all of major league baseball in fewest strikeouts per game at 6.12 compared to 7.10 last season.  Last year’s numbers weren’t bad as they were still good enough for 5th overall in MLB.

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The average walks per game also went up slightly from 2.69 walks per game in 2015 to 2.91 walks per game this season.  Both years the Angels were ranked near the middle of the pack in this category.

So overall it looks to me that Dave Hansen’s influence has made the Angels hitters more patient.  Also the improved batting average and runs scored are big plusses.

The fact that the home runs hit by the team dipped slightly is not necessarily a bad thing especially since the was scoring more runs in 2016 than in 2015.

Next: What holes will Billy Eppler be able to fill for 2017?

There is still room for improvement in both pitching and hitting, but rest assured both Hansen and Nagy are working hard to find ways to help the Angels hitters and pitchers improve even more in 2017.

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