The Los Angeles Angels have completed eight straight losing seasons and nine straight years without a playoff appearance. It's been nearly a decade of this franchise being one of the worst in baseball, and Shohei Ohtani's departure will only make things more challenging.
For this team to even be somewhat competitive in 2024, they're going to have to overcome a lot of adversity. When they had Ohtani, they at least had the argument that star power could get them through and help them stay in the race. It did last season before things fell apart. That's no longer valid with Shohei gone.
The Angels competing isn't an impossibility, but it's certainly unlikely. For it to even be a conversation, these are the biggest hurdles the team will have to overcome.
1) The LA Angels will need to figure out how to stay healthy
Here's an easy one. The Angels have been absolutely ravaged by the injury bug in recent years. No, it's not the only reason why they've finished with losing records, but the injuries have undoubtedly played a major role. Even Ohtani spent several years with the Angels battling through injuries. This past season was no exception as he had to stop pitching in late August and stop hitting in early September.
Ohtani, while dealing with his fair share of dings throughout the years, happened to be one of the more durable Angels as well. The MVP led the team in games played despite missing most of the final month entirely. Part of that has to do with the Angels turning over their roster from where it was on Opening Day, but a big reason for that has to do with all of the injuries the team suffered.
The main culprits, of course, are Mike Trout and especially Anthony Rendon who have had a miserable time trying to stay healthy.
The Angels season seems to fall apart each year when the stars get hurt. The team's lack of depth has been a glaring issue for a while now, and that will be no different in 2024. For this team to stand a chance, they're going to have to stay healthy. Mike Trout especially.