2015 was marred in disarray for the Los Angeles Angels after leading MLB in runs scored (773) and wins (98) during the 2014 season. They were handed an early post season exit by the Royals after GM Jerry Dipoto left midseason due to a power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia along with the distraction of troubled outfielder Josh Hamilton’s relapse into substance abuse. This season, they will bank on the incredible talent of Mike Trout and a stout pitching rotation to land them in contention in the AL West.
The Angels starting pitchers are arguably the team’s biggest strength. 27-year
old Garrett Richards is one of the hardest throwers in the league and came back from a brutal knee injury to make 32 starts in 2015. Tyler Skaggs is also returning from an injury but when back from Tommy John surgery will strengthen the rotation along with Andrew Heaney, Matt Shoemaker, Hector Santiago and Nick Tropeano. LA’s bullpen was retooled two years ago with Huston Street and Joe Smith as their key components.
The Angels traded for shortstop Andrelton Simmons who is dangerous defensively while second base is a bit up in the air for the club. They dealt Howie Kendrick last season so it seems second will be fielded by a combination of veteran Cliff Pennington and Johnny Giavotella. Veteran stud Albert Pujols at first base had a great 2015 season and the Angels are hoping they can get one more quality season from him before placing the DH in front of his name, while at third base they acquired Yunel Escobar from the Washington Nationals. Mike Trout put up 41 home runs last season and along with Kole Calhoun make up a stellar outfield. At catcher, 24-year old Carlos Perez will get start and be supported by veteran Geovany Soto.
With more peace in the clubhouse in 2016, look for LA’s stout pitching rotation along with the bats of Trout, Pujols and Calhoun to place them in the hunt in the difficult AL West. Be sure to secure all your Los Angeles Angels tickets for the 2016 season and support this talented roster all summer long.
The Los Angeles Angels started playing professionally in 1961. Then they were a minor league club that had been moved to the majors and one of the first franchises to originate in the west rather than relocate. They also, quite predictably, struggled. At the time the American League lacked divisions and the new team could not compete with the likes of the Yankees.
Eventually, the MLB instituted divisions, but even the then California Angels had trouble posting a winning record in the American League West. By the end of the 1970s the roster had Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Bert Campaneris, and Nolan Ryan and the Angels won the West for the first time in franchise history. California won twice more in the 1980s, though they never were able to advance to the World Series.
The team started putting together strong seasons after changing names again, this time to the Anaheim Angels. Then, in 2002, they had RBI-machine Garret Anderson, power hitting Troy Glaus, and talented outfielder and hitter Tim Salmon. The pitching staff that season is not going to go down as one of the best in the history of the MLB, but that summer Jarrod Washburn, Ramon Ortiz, and Kevin Appier had quite respectable seasons. This team won 99 games and went to the first World Series in franchise history, which they won (beating intra-state rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in seven games).
Los Angeles has remained competitive in the years since. The roster has been loaded with the latest and greatest stars in the decade since. Whether it is Vladimir Guerrero, Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter, or Kendrys Morales the offense always had enough power. In addition to building clubs around sluggers, the Angels also managed to find starters like Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, and Jered Weaver. These pitchers dominated on the mound and helped the team take five more division titles.