My loyal readers may find this hard to believe, but I have been accused of being too negative about the slow start to the Angel season. I know, I know, total blasphemy if you ask me, but just to prove that I am nothing but an eternal optimist, kindly bend over and allow me to shine some sunshine up your backside in the form of seven reasons why we shouldn’t worry about the early season struggles of the Angels:
That Angels haven’t been very good, but there is no need to drown yourself.
- As that closed door meeting showed us when it produced a win the very next day, all the Angels are ever really going to need is Mike Scioscia. The Angels may be struggling but it isn’t like they are the Houston Astros and praying their dunce of a manager will bail them out, Sosh is the best manager in the league and always seems to have a solution for any problem. Heck, his meeting might have already resolved the issues facing the team if Wednesday’s result was any indication.
- The starting pitching hasn’t been that great for the Angels thus far (Jered Weaver excluded), but that shouldn’t really be a surprise. During the early parts of every season, the hitters are always ahead of pitchers since hurlers take longer to round into form. The Angels have simply been more affected than most by this phenomenon. Hey, it has to happen to someone, but the good news is that it shouldn’t last much longer and then everything will be just fine… I hope.
- The Angels haven’t scored more than six runs in a game yet this year and are only scoring 3.77 runs per game, but the offense actually isn’t that bad, or at least it shouldn’t be. Six Angel regulars have an OPS over .800 and Juan Rivera is at .722. Really the only issues are that Erick Aybar is leading off with a .679 OPS which really isn’t that big of a deal since his OBP is .389. Consider all of that and the only real weakness in the order is Brandon Wood. What that all indicates to me is that the Halos offense should be scoring a lot more runs and the law of averages suggests that the will, and soon. We just need to hold tight and before you know it, all those runners being stranded in scoring position will start coming around to score instead.
- I’m not trying to make excuses, but the Angels have actually had a tough schedule to start the year. They dropped three of four to the Twins, a team expected to win their division and maybe even go to the World Series. They dropped two of three to an Oakland team that is probably a lot better than anyone realizes. They aren’t contenders, but they do have some great young pitching and should be competitive all season long. Finally, they now have split two games with the Yankees and we all know how good they are. Could the Angels have won six games against this slate instead of losing six? Of course, but it really shouldn’t be considered an upset that they struggled over this early span.
- This might come as a shock to all the true believer Angel fans (which is a nice way of saying the Angel fans who have no concept of logic or perspective), but at some point this year the Halos were going to drop six of nine games. It just so happens that the time for them was the start of the season where everything is unfairly magnified. If this had happened in late June, it wouldn’t have been nearly the big deal that it is now. Right now we have Angel fans thinking of doomsday scenarios because the earliness of the season takes away perspective. When this same kind of slump hits that Angels again later in the year (and it will happen again), fans might grumble a bit, but there won’t be anything close to the same sense of panic and dread.
- So the bullpen can’t possibly get any worse, right? I mean, seriously, Shields is a disaster, Fuentes is hurt and everyone else seems like they could meltdown at any moment. There is no doubt that the pen has been the team’s biggest Achilles heel thus far and if they can improve to being below average, the Halos’ fortunes should improve vastly.
- The biggest reason of all the Angels have been floundering is that they stopped playing Angel baseball for some reason. Now that they have all this power in the line-up, I think they somehow thought they could out-slug everyone else but that clearly hasn’t been the case. They stopped forcing the issue on the bases and pressuring the defense. It wasn’t until Wednesday that they got back to their traditional style of play and suddenly everything seemed to click for them. What a coincidence. If they can just keep playing like that every game, they won’t have anything to worry about at all.