Los Angeles Angels: Why I was wrong about GM Billy Eppler

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Soon, the Los Angeles Angels will embark on the 2017 campaign. They’ll look to get back to the top of the AL West, this season.

The Los Angeles Angels are approaching an interesting time in their franchise. They are on the rebound from one of the toughest seasons they’ve faced this millennium.

Last season, the Angels won just 74 games, having multiple injuries and the worst farm system in the league.

However, the Angels start 2017 with a clean slate. In honor of Chinese New Year on January 28th, the Angels will embrace the New Year with good luck and good fortune.

This, of course, is due to a number of moves GM Billy Eppler is making to increase the Angels outfield and infield defense. The Angels have a handful of position players that will add much-needed defense and batting to the 25-man roster.

The Angels will once again be under the command of Mike Scioscia. Regardless of how you feel about Sosh, the Angels are looking better on paper. The AL West will be a tough division to capture and the Angels have the resources to do so.

Adding multiple defensive position players who can also bat, are helping the Angels to become contenders and they could do so this season.

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With the first Spring Training game almost one month away, the Angels are still making some interesting roster moves. For one, the Angels have been linked to signing Luis Valbuena. It’s clear the Angels are after a World Series appearance. At last season’s end, both Eppler and Scioscia said in multiple interviews that the Angels have a real chance to contend. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sold on their narration.

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In fact, I was deeply concerned about the state of affairs within the Los Angeles Angels organization. Like most Angels fans, there was concern that the franchise wasn’t heading in the right direction. The Angels had major injuries to the pitching staff, they had the worst farm system in baseball. On top of that, the Angels gambled on Tim Lincecum and rolled a snake eyes. When it rains, it pours, and last season was a tropical storm for the Angels.

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However, the storm has passed as the Angels are looking like a veteran team. Billy Eppler is putting in overtime this offseason and the proof is the 25-man roster.

I can say that after being skeptical of Eppler and Scioscia’s bromance, I’m starting to see the plan as it’s being laid out. For someone who loves big name free agent signings, I am buying into the low-key style in which Eppler works.

Next: Angels to sign Luis Valbuena

Call it the Los Angeles Laker fan in me, I love the idea of bringing in a big name pitcher to team up with Mike Trout. The Angels need their Pau Gasol on the mound while Trout performs at the plate the way Kobe Bryant does on the court. However, those things are far from how the Angels operate. I can honestly say that I was wrong about Billy Eppler.

So, as I feast on my humble pie and look toward the 2017 campaign, I’ll be excited to see if the Angels can turn things around and win the AL West once again.