The Los Angeles Angels are a team that has gone from in postseason contention and buying heavily at the trade deadline to one that had just lost seven in a row since the deadline before finally winning last night and with a 1.9% chance to make the postseason according to FanGraphs.
Even after their win last night, the Angels trail in the division by 11.5 games and in the Wild Card race by 7.0 games. A miracle run isn't impossible, but it'd take just that for this team to squeak into the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The Angels recent struggles has nothing to do with three players who have completely turned their seasons around, but it does have more to do with two who have really struggled after hot starts.
LA Angels infielder Luis Rengifo has become a staple at the top of the order after a brutal start
Luis Rengifo has been the ultimate example of a player who's gone from the bottom to the top on this Angels team. After a promising 2022 season, Rengifo got off to an abysmal start in 2023. He wasn't quite playing everyday with all of the depth the Angels had, but he was also playing way more than his statistics said he deserved to.
With the Angels dealing with a myriad of injuries, Rengifo has been a guy the Angels have needed to step up, and boy, has he done just that. The switch-hitter had a .590 OPS through the month of June and seemed to be on the verge of losing his roster spot entirely. Since July 1, he's been a completely different player.
In his last 30 games, Rengifo has slashed .305/.381/.600 with seven home runs and 14 RBI. He's not only been one of the best hitters on the Angels in that stretch, but he's been one of the best hitters in all of baseball, as he's 18th in the sport with a 166 WRC+ since July 1.
Rengifo has seen his OPS rise from a miserable .590 to a much more manageable .725, and he seems to be only improving. Rengifo has settled in quite nicely into the leadoff spot as he's slashed .333/.392/.597 with four of his 11 home runs from that spot in the order this season. Rengifo should have an everyday role with all of the injuries and with how well he's played.