LA Angels News

LA Angels Series Preview: Finding fresh air in Cleveland

By Ryan Falla
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to striking out looking during the sixth inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 05, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to striking out looking during the sixth inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 05, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 10: Zack Cozart #7 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pats Jonathan Lucroy #20 on the head as Andrelton Simmons #2 walks past following a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 10, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 10: Zack Cozart #7 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pats Jonathan Lucroy #20 on the head as Andrelton Simmons #2 walks past following a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 10, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Trade deadline pros and woes

The Angels are coming into this series fresh off a disappointing trade deadline that saw them acquire no starters to bolster their starting staff, but they did trade for Astros catcher Max Stassi who is noted as one of the better defensive catchers in the league. After spending money on offense first, and only, catchers like Jonathan Lucroy the Angels are feeling the burn from seeing their pitching staff struggle with little help from the backstop. The Angels catching unit has provided consistently terrible defense all year round, from run scoring passed balls to awful pitch framing and mediocre game calling, we’re seeing everything that can damage our chances at winning games in action.

Now, Max Stassi may not be the hottest trade target in the world, and he may not be someone who can directly bolster the starting staff, but what he can do is bring value to our starting staff from behind the plate. Stassi has worked with some of the best pitchers in all of baseball during his time with the Astros such as Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. That experience isn’t something to scoff at, the knowledge he can bring to this starting staff is invaluable and may be what the Angels need to kick this staff into another gear. It may not kick the starters into “high gear” but what it can do is inch the starters into more viable form with an upgrade in game-calling, pitch framing, and overall defense.

This obviously isn’t the move everyone wanted to catapult the Angels pitching into an actual wild-card eligible team, but it does bolster the pitching staff in indirectly direct ways for a few years to come. The Angels still really need to upgrade the top end of their pitching staff, but that’s something that’s not going to happen until the offseason. For now we just have to survive through the season, through the false ups and painful downs, until we can see the Angels power up this staff.

Hopefully that’s what happens this offseason, because another offseason of the team standing pat or making mediocre signings that offer no improvements to the outlook of the squad will begin to legitimately drive fans away. But if that’s what it takes to get team owner Arte Moreno to finally open his wallet back up and spend big then maybe the awful stretch we’re going through and the fan base clamoring for a better team is exactly what we need.

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