To be fair, I think the Angels have assembled a pretty good team around Trout, if not for injuries...
Not sure what Angels team you’re looking at. This Angels team is top heavy and frankly, has overachieved. It’s not an awful team but the role injuries have played for the Angels has been overstated.
• Ohtani is obviously a big loss but he was also markedly better than anyone would have expected coming in. He wasn’t a guy you could pen in.
• Garrett Richards is really the only other major player who has missed time. And Garrett Richards missing time should be expected at this point as he’s started a total of 12 games the past two years. He’s a good player but not someone who should make or break your season.
• Guys like Zack Cozart and Kole Calhoun have also hit the DL but those guys have been pretty awful so missing them hasn’t been a big deal. The Angels have had 15 guys hit the DL but they haven’t been particularly good players.
The real issue is that this was a pretty risky team to begin with:
LINEUP: The biggest issue for the Angels is their lineup is pretty awful – it feels like those top-heavy Tigers teams. They have Trout and little else. The Angels have gotten a career year from Simmons and what counts as a bounce-back year from Pujols and even with that are pretty deficient. The non-Simmons infield is super old and ineffective – Pujols and Kinsler have predictably struggled, they bet on Cozart after a career year out of nowhere, and Luis Valbuena has taken a big step back at 32. Upton is having the season you’d expect and is a good player but he’s really the only guy besides Trout who is having the good season you’d expect. Calhoun and Chris Young have both been awful at the other corner. In short, the Angels once again trotted out a lineup of Trout, a few good players and a lot of drivel. They haven’t developed any cheap, effective position players and that’s killing them. Again. Trout is great but you can’t depend on him every game.
ROTATION: Those Tigers teams were hit-and-miss but they got away with it some years because they had dominant pitching. The Angels had Ohtani and Richards but other than that, they’ve actually been way luckier than they could expect. Skaggs is outperforming his FIP by a half run and Barria by 1.7 runs. Andrew Heaney is having a bounce-back year but he’s started even less games than Richards these past two years. The Angels rotation was “hope Richards pitches a full season, Ohtani is an ace, and we can cobble it together otherwise”. They’ve gotten luckier than they should have on the back half of that but depending on Richards and Ohtani seemed pretty risky and has turned out rather predictably.
BULLPEN: The Angels pen sits middle of the pack. They’ve lost some arms to injury but no one especially damaging. This is about the pen they could expect to have.
I don’t see a well-put-together team. I see an organization that continues to try to take shortcuts and is paying for past mistakes. Pujols salary hurts their ability to cash in with free agency and they make strange decisions with the money they have (Zach Cozart was one of the more questionable offseason signings and bringing in Kinsler was a pretty risky proposition). They’re dependent on catching lightning in a bottle with guys like Simmons and Kinsler and while those work out sometimes, you’re almost always better off using young guys who might develop into something better than expected.
Poorly constructed team. They only have two more years of Trout and they’re wasting it. No one should be surprised if he ends up in pinstripes halfway through next year.