Angels shifting away from analytics may come back to haunt them

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

It has been a rather quiet off-season so far for the Los Angeles Angels after their recent hire of manager Ron Washington. However, the hiring and the departure of some of their other staff suggests a shift from what they seemed to have been doing and are now being run a little differently.

Coaching staff departures signal change

Over the course of the off-season, the Angels have made recent changes to their coaching staff due to insight from a former player. Troy Percival, a four-time All-Star with the team, gave the team feedback on how he saw the team was being run. He saw the way they ran things in a negative light and as a result, sparked change within the organization. In an article from The Athletic, (subscription required) it reads "Percival said he did not call on anyone to be fired and merely shared his observations and opinions with Angels farm director Joey Prebynski. Shortly thereafter, the Angels let go of the two highest-ranking pitching instructors in their farm system: pitching coordinator Buddy Carlyle and pitching performance coordinator Dylan Axelrod."

Percival has already been cited for going "old school" and his disagreement with analytics. While there is the suggestion that things needed to change based on prior team results. Pulling away from analytics could fare poorly as many other teams who have continued postseason success have spearheaded the way in analytics.

However, the decision for change may yield better results due to the fact that last season the team had a combined pitching ERA of 4.64 which was ranked 12th out of the 15 American League teams. Additionally, the team's combined ERA+ was 97 with the average being at 100 which is definitely concerning. To sum it up, the pitching just wasn't getting the job done.

In addition to the on-field coaching staff changes, the front office has also seen change with the departure of assistant general manager Alex Tamin. In another article published by The Athletic (subscription required) it reads "It remains to be seen whether the Angels will hire an assistant general manager, underscoring their overall very small baseball operations department. That leads to questions about the club’s investment in technology, analytics, spring training facilities, and minor league operations. All are just as critical to the business of winning as having a good manager."

The shift from a more modern philosophy containing analytics is clear and now new ways may be implemented to improve the on field performance. It will require the whole organization to come together without a power struggle as previously seen from this team. Only time will tell if they will.