When the Brad Ausmus was named the new LA Angels manager back in October he knew he had his work cut out for him and now with the season less than two months away nothing has changed.
When Billy Eppler and the LA Angels introduced Brad Ausmus as their new manager Ausmus was all smiles, but since then he has been all business first completing his coaching staff and then helping Eppler evaluate the current talent and see what was needed to make the team competitive.
Now that Eppler has said the team is complete Ausmus and his coaching staff now have to decide where to plug in these new players and put together a roster that looks to be the strongest it has been in five years.
Ausmus’ first task is to figure out his starting rotation with the help of his pitching coach Doug White and Eppler. Then he will also have to decide what everyones role will be. Eppler gave Ausmus a bonafide closer in Cody Allen to go along with set-up men such as Justin Anderson, Ty Buttery, and Luis Garcia to name a few.
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Once the pitching staff is taken care of then Ausmus will turn his focus to creating a strong line-up that looks to improve on last season’s .242 batting average. Ausmus is supposedly looking to put Mike Trout in the second spot, and then build around him with guys like Anderlton Simmons, Justin Upton, and now Justin Bour. Once Shohei Ohtani returns in about two months he will definitely add some pop to the line-up and he is a lefty which is an area the Angels were somewhat weak in last season.
Who will be the final couple of utility players to make the team is anyones guess. Tommy LaStella will be the super-utility guy and Peter Bourjos will most likely be the fourth outfielder unless Michael Hermosillo can beat him out.
The pressure will be squarely on Ausmus’ shoulders as he is the first new manager for the Angels since 1999. Ausmus will have to mold his clubhouse together and hopefully keep his pitchers healthy. There will be some luck involved as the Angels try to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Good luck Mr. Ausmus and God Speed.