After another disappointing loss last night, the Los Angeles Angels fall to 24-23. They blew yet another chance to win a series against a team above .500, and frustration is beginning to boil over.
We know how crucial this season was if the Angels ever wanted to keep Shohei Ohtani. The team had to be competitive and make the playoffs at the bare minimum. With Arte Moreno at the helm it's possible the Halos would've had to do more than that to convince him to stay, but the way things are headed, the Angels likely will have no shot.
These five players have all underwhelmed this season and are part of why Angels fans are beginning to lose hope.
1) LA Angels fans are losing their patience with Taylor Ward
It'd be hard to find a bigger Taylor Ward fan than me heading into this season. He started out last season on fire, then got hurt, and once he got healthy again, starting raking in September. I thought for sure that he had broken out and had a great shot at being a first-time all-star, but unfortunately, baseball is impossible to predict sometimes.
After a really good Spring Training and a hot start to this season, Ward has been dreadful since really the first week of games. He had one good series in St. Louis when he was hitting the ball extremely hard, but other than that, it's been a lost year for the Angels outfielder.
I'm still not fully ready to call last season a fluke, but maybe I'm just biased. It's certainly not looking great in that regard.
This season, Ward is slashing .227/.303/.320 with four home runs and 17 RBI. He's led off most of the season in front of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and barely even has an OBP above .300.
After being one of baseball's most disciplined hitters last season, ranking in the 93rd percentile in chase rate according to baseball savant, he now ranks in the 44th percentile in that category. That kind of drop-off is unprecedented and has been, in my opinion, what's led to his brutal season.
Ward is hitless in his last 12 at-bats yet he continues to hit at the top of the order while he plays virtually every day. Eventually Phil Nevin has to notice it's not working, right?