LA Angels hitting coach Marcus Thames will barely keep his job
This isn't what I would do. Marcus Thames doesn't have an exciting track record, I wasn't excited about the hiring, and wouldn't be excited if they kept him. I just believe that's what will happen.
The Angels brought Thames aboard after boasting one of baseball's worst offenses last season. The Angels were 25th in runs scored last season despite a full season from Shohei Ohtani and a mostly healthy season from Mike Trout. They hit a good amount of home runs, ranking 11th in that category, but doing very little else.
This season, the improvement is most definitely there. The Angels are sixth in the majors in runs scored and third in home runs. They even lead the American League in long balls. They rank seventh in OBP and fifth in slugging. The team gets on base and they can also hit for a ton of power.
The problem is, this offense should be even better than they are. Obviously, having injuries never helps, but the Angels have struggled for most of the year with runners in scoring position. The Angels rank 27th in the majors with a .238 average with runners in scoring position. They're 21st with a 94 WRC+ in those same spots.
The Angels seem to lack an approach in those spots which I do believe falls on the hitting coach. Going up there with a plan is a whole lot better than just swinging at the first pitch you see, which this Angels team seems to do a lot in big spots.
I believe Thames stays because he's only been here for one season and because the offense has drastically improved overall. Going from 25th to sixth in runs scored is certainly a huge deal, even if I believe most of that is due to simply having a deeper roster and also having a guy in Ohtani who's having one of the best seasons of all-time.
When looking back at this season, the pitching was a much bigger issue than the hitting. It's possible Thames chooses to leave if his guy Phil Nevin isn't brought back, but it's hard to envision the Angels choosing to let Thames go.