LA Angels GM Billy Eppler one of the best in the business
By Ryan Falla
It’s been a rough few days for LA Angels fans after watching the team go from competing to-to-toe with the Dodgers, and winning, to losing in embarrassing fashion to the worst team in baseball multiple days in a row.
The LA Angels have stunted their own Wild Card chase and with the difficult schedule ahead loaded with Astros, A’s, Boston, and Yankee games it seems as if these lost opportunities are going to hurt the Angels badly. People are already looking for a scapegoat, even after just two games, and have landed on Angels GM Billy Eppler for failing to shore up the starting pitching staff.
The Angels starting pitching has been decimated this season as most of the starting pitching staff are having a “worst case scenario” type season. Matt Harvey was booted off the roster just after the All-Star Break, Cody Allen was DFA’ed rather promptly after multiple poor late-inning outings, and Trevor Cahill is cruising through the season with a 6.50 ERA in 73.1 IP.
Los Angeles Angels
It isn’t all bad since we did hit gold with Tommy La Stella, we even saw Eppler snag another diamond in the rough (thank god) with Brain Goodwin off the waivers . The vast majority of our free agent lands are looking rather awful, especially with starting pitching, but if you’re looking for someone to point a finger at it isn’t Billy Eppler.
I feel like I have to write this article over and over every couple of years and every year more and more evidence surfaces to add to the fact that Arte Moreno is the reason why the Angels blow it in free agency time and time again. I’m not here to offer a scapegoat with Moreno either because he does try to land big time pieces when they’re available, he just does it at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
Remember when Moreno allowed Zack Greinke to slip away after two months when the Angels desperately needed front-line starters, as they still do now (what a coincidence) so that they could land a “big-splash” with a last-minute Josh Hamilton signing for 5 year 125 million dollar contract? Remember how the Angels let beloved leader and RF’er Torii Hunter leave in free agency to the Tigers for a 2 year deal worth 26 million that same year?
There is a genuine effort from Arte, don’t get me wrong, but many times does that effort show to be misdirected. Even before the aforementioned scenario Moreno already had a history of dropping the checkbook on the wrong players; back in 2011 the Angels secured Albert Pujols in free agency with a 10 year $254 mil contract even though they had Mike Napoli manning first base in 68 games through 2010 while hitting 26 HRs at the age of 28.
The nightmarish Napoli trade is a whole other discussion entirely, but they shipped off a young 1B capable athlete who was only making a few million for an older first baseman who was already showing signs of decline to a decade long deal.