We're just a couple of days away from the New Year, yet the Los Angeles Angels have done nothing to bolster their lineup. Their offense was pretty good last season when everyone was healthy, but that was with Shohei Ohtani. Of course, he's now a Dodger.
There's every reason to believe the Angels will add at least one hitter to fill the Ohtani void, but for now, no changes have been made when it comes to Angels position players. The lineup has potential when healthy even without Shohei, but depth is lacking.
The Angels bench much be bolstered. If Rob Manfred called and said the season had to start today, the Angels would be in troube for a variety of reasons, but their bench is a big one.
What the Angels bench could look like if the season began today
C - Matt Thaiss
INF - Michael Stefanic
INF/OF - Trey Cabbage
OF - Jo Adell
If the season began tomorrow, the Angels would have a young bench with some talented players and potential, but all four are relatively unproven. That's an issue when there are as many injury concerns as this team has.
Matt Thaiss as the team's backup catcher is solid. He can swing the bat pretty well, and improved defensively as the season progressed even if he was still subpar. With Chad Wallach and Francisco Mejia in the minors and Logan O'Hoppe starting, the Angels actually have depth behind the dish. The rest of the bench is where things fall apart a bit.
Michael Stefanic would be the backup infielder here, but is only really a second baseman. He's played positions like third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield spots in the minors, but has only appeared at second and third in the majors. Stefanic is a professional hitter who can put the ball in play and get on base but doesn't provide much power at all, is not a speedy runner, and is not great in the field. He's a fine bench piece, but not one you'd be thrilled about playing regularly at this point in his career.
Trey Cabbage is a player who showed he was not MLB ready when given the chance last season, but he'd make the team because of his versatility. He can run, defend, hit for power, and play a variety of positions in the infield and outfield. If the Angels were to make an addition Cabbage would be the easy solution of a player to send down, but they haven't done that yet.
Jo Adell is in a tough spot as another player who hasn't really shown he's good enough to stick at the MLB level but now the Angels don't have a choice. He's out of options. The team would have to send him through waivers to bring him to the minors. Adell will most likely be this team's fourth outfielder barring an offseason trade.
This group has some talent, but is really inexperienced. The Angels would benefit having a deeper roster with more proven talent on their bench ready to step in when injuries occur.