The LA Angels will be facing the New York Yankees in a four game set as the end of the first month comes near.
Luckily for the LA Angels, these Yankees are limping into Anaheim after seeing two of their star hitters, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, go down with short-term injuries. Both players are out until May, and while it’s not optimal to battle against a diminished opponent this is also the perfect time for the Angels to set up another winning streak.
Don’t let the Angels shaky play fool you, they’re only two wins behind the New York Yankees. I’m not making comparisons of team strength, I’m only pointing out how the Angels aren’t faring as badly as people want to believe.
Sure, the starting pitching has been atrocious and the bullpen is leaking (mostly Cody Allen), but the one saving grace has been major outbursts of hitting. The problem is the pitching keeping the Angels out of games even when they’re scoring around 10 runs a night.
I know people are saying something has to change, but the wheels are fully in motion on that regard. Yesterday saw the Angels employ the opener for the first time and it worked wonders for the team. The strategy of the opener has a world of depth in its support of the starting rotation, especially when it comes to preserving young arms like Jaime Barria or keeping Chris Stratton as unexposed as possible.
It’s clear the pitching is burning itself out in only the first month of the season and strategy changes are of the utmost importance in keeping the team alive and successful. It isn’t even about catching up to the “modern state of baseball”, it’s about preserving effectiveness and preventing overexposure.
On that note, you may not want to hear it or believe it, but Brad Ausmus has been doing a wonderful job as the Angels new manager. Better than Scioscia ever was in this decade. Sure he isn’t straight away an obvious improvement, but it isn’t about the immediate changes. It’s about the attentions to detail, the willingness to explore the roster, and furthermore the ability and desire to evolve game to game.