Three New Year’s Resolutions for the LA Angels
By Vincent Page
The LA Angels are heading out of a decade full of disappointing seasons, and into one hopefully full of more wins and Mike Trout in the postseason.
These three resolutions will help the LA Angels in their conquest towards the organization’s second World Series. While any World Series championship requires some luck, the Angels have one of the strongest cores of offensive talent in the MLB and an improved rotation could do wonders for this team. These resolutions are what could be the difference between a Wild Card Game and another season without the postseason in Anaheim.
Resolution #1: Stay Healthy
This one is pretty obvious. The thorn in the Angels side for years has been their inability to stay healthy. There have been plenty of seasons where the Angels have legitimate playoff potential, but by the dog days of summer are playing without their regular starters.
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This year, the Angels main priority – besides winning – needs to be maintaining the health of their best players. That means utilizing a six-man rotation, scheduling rest days for the Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Andrelton Simmons types of players. Even half days off where a player only hits will be beneficial in the long run. Load management is key to making it to the finish line, and Joe Maddon would be wise to use that tactic with his players.
Resolution #2: Embrace Change
Speaking of Joe Maddon, he is going to be a much different manager to have around than Brad Ausmus or Mike Scioscia. While Scioscia was a good personality, Maddon is an entirely new character. His homecoming to Anaheim has the potential to be a storybook ending, and his players need to embrace the changes coming to the clubhouse.
After an analytically driven season behind Ausmus and pitching coach Doug White, Maddon leads a staff that is old school in how they do things. Mickey Callaway wasn’t up to being a manager, but has a solid reputation as a pitching coach in the MLB.
Things are going to be different at the top of the system in Anaheim, and the organization needs to be ready to embrace the bunting, hit-and-runs, and unconventional coaching that has made Maddon so successful in his managerial career.
Resolution #3: Start Strong, Finish Stronger
Ever since I’ve been a fan of the Angels, it seems like they get off to a crippling start in the first month of the season. It puts them in a hole almost immediately, and that can’t be the case in 2020. With teams like Oakland, Tampa Bay, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Texas all aiming to be in the Wild Card hunt, the Angels can’t be playing catch up in May.
As often as the Angels start slow, the end of the season has been equally disappointing. This team always seems to peak over the summer, gain enough ground to make fans believe, and then break our hearts with a horrible losing streak in August or September. If this team can be consistent from Opening Day to Game 162, they have as good of a chance as any to be in the postseason.
I’m not promising the Angels will be a playoff team if they follow these three steps. It’s going to be an intense race between a lot of high-caliber teams. But this Angels’ offense stacks up with anyone outside of Houston, and if their starting pitching holds up and they succeed in these three resolutions, they’ll be right in the thick of things come the final days of the season.