Angels Take First Step in Important Season.

Updated: February 25, 2017

It’s Spring, where hope springs eternal and every team is equal in the standings! Spring Training is the unofficial start of the season, where every team begins to evaluate what and who they have, who is healthy, who is ready to make the leap, who is ready to seize a major league role, who is ready to continue to be great, and who is unable to make the team. At this point, there are only a handful of teams who truly don’t believe they can compete; most teams and their fans are ready to believe they’re contenders!

Fans are also ready to read waaaay too much into their team’s performance in Spring Training, where players aren’t really competing and the games are full of players who would never sniff a major league roster, but that’s besides the point! Baseball is back, and the Angels begin a long road in what will turn out to be a very important season. The Angels are coming off their worst season in the Mike Scioscia era, and have struggled to contend over the past seven years, making the playoffs only once and winning exactly zero playoff games. Mike Trout is in his prime as the best player in baseball, but has barely seen playoff action, and you have to begin wondering if the Angels are wasting his best years if they continue to miss the postseason. Free agency is still four years away for Trout, but the Angels need to start showing some upward trajectory or they’ll have to start considering the possibility of Trout leaving as soon as he can.

While it would be an overstatement to say that Scioscia is on the hot seat, the longer the Angels struggle, the harder it gets to justify Scioscia staying on, especially if there are no significant injuries to blame. It’s an important year for Scioscia in a lot of ways; either he’s going to be held accountable for the Angels’ poor play if they struggle this year, or it’s possible Scioscia walks away from what might be a bleak future for the Halos. It’s an important year in that the Angels will need to answer the question of whether they could conceivably contend while Trout is still under contract, not just to maximize Trout’s prime but also to be able to convince Trout to stick around. Players like Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, C.J. Cron, Alex Meyer, Carlos Perez, and Cam Bedrosian are going to need to step up and prove they can be impact players consistently to support Trout. Players like Taylor Ward, Matt Thaiss, and Jahmai Jones will need to show development and promise to show they can contribute at the major league level, eventually.

While it’s not necessarily a make-or-break season by any stretch, it’s still a very important season for the Angels, who not only have to convince Trout, but also their fans that there is something good going on in Anaheim. There hasn’t been much to cheer about for the Angels for a while now, and a strong season with contributions from young players will go a long way in raising hopes and expectations for the Halos going forward. This is the first step in showing that the Angels have a four year plan that can work to not only make the team competitive but also convince Trout that he can win a championship in Anaheim. It all starts today!

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