Now that the work stoppage is behind us and the teams have had time to improve in preparation for the 2022 season, it’s time to prepare for the next Major League Baseball season by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the different formations. .
On the menu today: the Los Angeles Angels.
The 2021 campaign has been like many for the Anaheim-based team. Despite being across from Disney Park, the long-awaited fairy tale has never happened in recent years for Mike Trout and company. Only 77 wins for 85 losses, we can say one thing: the account is not there!
The stunts of Shohei Ohtani and Trout are only the tree that hides the forest and it seems to me that nothing has been done so that it does not start again this year.
Additions and departures
To begin, let’s take a quick look at departures. The rotation of the Angels has soared: Alex Cobb, performing in 2021, left for San Francisco while Andrew Heaney (left in the middle of 2021) and Dylan Bundy, less competitive, were not retained. They were replaced numerically by Noah Syndergaard, who played two games in 2021 after a 2020 year without playing, and Michael Lorenzen, who left the Reds after a rather average 2021 campaign.
For the rest, it was two other influential players in terms of performance who made the trunk: José Iglesias, the Cuban shortstop recruited by the Rockies, Dexter Fowler in Toronto and reliever Steve Cishek who left for Washington.
The bullpen has also welcomed quite a few new players: Ryan Tepera from the White Sox, Aaron Loup from the Mets and Archie Bradley from the Phillies.
Iglesias was replaced by Matt Duffy, who has a similar profile: regular hitter, but not very powerful. Tyler Wade is also landed in California.
So much for the changes, ultimately few unlike other staff.
Strengths and weaknesses
Offense will be the Angels force in 2022 once again. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani will be the leaders of this somewhat unbalanced team. Because if we can rely on convincing offensive elements (I would also quote Jared Walsh and Anthony Rendon), the defense leaves something to be desired.
Indeed, the rotation is not brilliant. Behind Ohtani (him again) and Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez can play his part, but Syndergaard and Lorenzen remain question marks. Lorenzen is coming off an average season, and Thor, as he is known, needs to find some playing time to get a feel for his potential.
The Angels have for me lacked ambition in the field of pitching, and that’s really bad. What’s the use of paying so much for players like Rendon and Trout if it’s to play the thrifty on the starters…
Come on, I’ll still make an exception for the bullpen which looks better (the Angels bullpen finished 24th in the Majors in 2021!) with Raisel Iglesias (one of the best finishers in the Majors), Mike Mayers, the three new cities above and Jaime Barria, converted into a reliever.
What to expect in 2022?
Another year without flavor? It’s quite possible, unless the rotation turns out to be as good as possible, but that leaves a lot of unknown to presume about that. The Angels should have insisted on the rotation for once.
Otherwise, the hitters will have to be 100% all the time, which we all know is often wishful thinking.