The Los Angeles Angels finished the 2023 season with a 73-89 record. It was their second consecutive season finishing with that record, and their eighth consecutive season where they failed to post a winning record.
This lack of success was surprising for an Angels team that was 56-51 at the trade deadline. A 17-38 record from August 1 on did this team in, and robbed Angels fans of watching this team potentially play some meaningful games for a change.
Now, as we look ahead to the 2024 season, the Angels will hope to be much better. Here are three reasons to believe they can do that.
1) The Angels' injury luck simply has to be better
It's unreasonable to only blame the Angels struggles down the stretch on injuries, but this team wound up being absolutely decimated. Out of the 26 players who made the team's Opening Day roster, only two lasted the entire season without being waived, traded, DFA'd, sent down, or placed on the IL. Those two were Carlos Estevez and Reid Detmers. Guys like Patrick Sandoval and Tyler Anderson were close, but they landed on the IL by the time the season ended.
Shohei Ohtani led the team with 135 games played despite missing most of the entire month of September due to injury. Hunter Renfroe was tied for second on the team in games played and he was claimed off waivers by the Reds at the end of August. Luis Rengifo was the player tied with Renfroe and he didn't even begin the year in a starting role. Brandon Drury was the only other Angel to reach 100 games played.
Some of their best players were limited in a big way. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon combined to play in just 125 games this season as their injury woes continued. Guys like Logan O'Hoppe, Zach Neto, and Luis Rengifo all landed on the IL at times where they were red-hot offensively. O'Hoppe wound up missing most of the season due to a torn labrum that wasn't even in his throwing shoulder.
The pitching side of things were a bit better health-wise, but the Angels had several relievers go down for the year early after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. They also were without Jose Suarez who was expected to be a big part of the rotation for several months.
Things simply have to be better health-wise. If they can get more than four players to appear in 100+ games, chances are they'll at least show marginal improvement. The Angels used well over 60 players in 2023. No team can succeed if they have to find that much quality depth.