With revamped line-up the pressure is on Mike Scioscia to win now.
Mike Scioscia has been the best manager in LA Angels history including winning the only World Series title in Angel history in 2002. Scioscia has won six of the nine AL West titles in club history as well. What have you done for me lately?
That is the question many LA Angels fans have been asking over the last eight seasons about Mike Scioscia that saw the Angels only make the playoffs once and not even win a playoff game. Mike Scioscia’s seat was already warm after another year of not making the post-season, but with all the moves the Angels have made in the past month Scioscia’s seat is now scorching.
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Scioscia has the best line-up he has had in years with all-stars and gold glove winners at almost every position. However, Scioscia fate will still be determined by the success and more importantly the health of the pitching staff which has been an issue each of the last two seasons.
The other thing about the 2018 season is the fact that it is Scioscia’s final year of his contract. It is time for #14 to put up or shut up. Overall Scioscia has 1570 wins and 1346 losses in his 18 years managing for the Angels. Scioscia is only 59 years old and could definitely manage for 10 more years but where that will be will depend a lot on this contract year.
The Angels may decide to make a change after this season no matter what Scioscia and the Angels do this season. Scioscia could also decide to move on as well if he so chooses since he is like a free agent. I myself like Scioscia and think the Angels should keep him around in some capacity. I think he would be a good team Vice President or President but I don’t know if the Angels or Scioscia feel the same way about it.
The big questions for Scioscia going into the 2018 season is who will be in the Angels starting rotation and whether or not to use a six-man rotation with the addition of Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. Scioscia will also have to figure out how to use Ohtani and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols who will split time at designated hitter. Pujols will also have to play the field probably a third of the time this season in order to allow Ohtani to DH as well. The big question is whether C.J. Cron or Luis Valbuena will be around once the season starts.
The line-up has gotten more clear with the addition of Zack Cozart, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton (added last September and re-signed in October), and of course Ohtani. When you pair Upton and Trout together in the middle of the line-up along with Pujols and Ohtani, that is a formidable middle of the order. Then you add in Cozart and Kinsler along with Andrelton Simmons and Kole Calhoun and that rounds out the order nicely. Catcher Martin Maldonado is probably the only player in the line-up that won’t hit at least 15 homers.
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If the Angels do decide to replace Mike Scioscia who would his successor be: possibly new assistant to the GM, Brad Ausmus, who has managerial experience. Another possible candidate is either former coach Ron Roenicke who also has managerial experience. Former Angel bench coach Dino Ebel is another potential candidate. Finally, former Angel star Darin Erstad who is currently coaching Nebraska’s baseball team, and was a candidate for the Dodgers’ managerial position in 2016 before Dave Roberts was hired.
Before we show Scioscia the door, I think 2018 is looking much brighter in the past month and I think the team will be very successful. Hopefully Scioscia will be able to mold this group into a championship team. We will have to wait and see and hope the injury bug stays away.