The Los Angeles Angels have wrapped up the first month of the season with a 15-14 record. It's hard to complain about a record above .500 considering the fact that the Angels haven't finished with a winning record since 2015, but they really should be better than they are right now.
The Angels have already thrown many games away and continue to struggle to both win close games and win games against formidable opponents. Both of these things will have to change for this team to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The Angels have gotten some nice starts out of plenty of players. Hunter Renfroe is tied for the team lead in home runs, and is the leader in RBI. Logan O'Hoppe looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate before his injury and Zach Neto has started to really take off. Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore look like great signings for the bullpen.
While that's all great, there're also plenty of players who need to be better. While it'd be nice to see guys like Aaron Loup and Jose Suarez become all-stars, that's unrealistic. Improvements from players the Angels expected to be great is what needs to happen. As the Angels prepare to face much stiffer competition in the month of May, the whole team needs to be better. These four players need to be better in particular.
1) LA Angels player who must be better in May: Reid Detmers
Reid Detmers continues to be incredibly inconsistent for the Angels. There're times when it feels like he's got great stuff and is mowing down the competition, and there're other times when it feels like he has nothing.
Nothing shows this more than his start against the Blue Jays earlier this season. Detmers was cruising through five innings. He had not allowed a run and struck out five while walking just one. All of a sudden, walk, single, hit-by-pitch, Grand Slam, single, and he's out of the game. The Angels had a 6-0 lead and by the end of that inning, that lead was gone.
Struggles as games progress have become a trend for Detmers. Opponents are hitting .180 the first time they see him, .238 the second time, and .429 the third time. This is why Detmers has completed six innings just once in his five starts and has an ERA approaching 5.00.
The strength of this Angels team was supposed to be its starting pitching, particularly with the top four. Detmers needs to take the step many people were expecting him to take.