Angels Will Need to Rely on Offense to Contend this Season.

Updated: April 23, 2017

We’ve written countless articles about the Angels and their pitching. That they wouldn’t stand a chance without getting quality innings from their starters. That the rotation would need to be consistent and solid all season long. That if pitchers like Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Matt Shoemaker didn’t pitch well, they’d be in trouble. All those things are true. It’s also true that the starting pitchers have been stringing together some downright decent starts the past two weeks, and quality starts are piling up. With all due respect to the pitching staff, however, the Angels aren’t going anywhere without the offense taking off.

The rotation has been solid, but there are just too many question marks and inconsistencies within this staff to be able to rely on them to put this up all season. It’s obviously not impossible, but the Angels offense has been struggling. The rotation is just simply not good enough to carry an inept offense. Skaggs has been pitching lights out, but has been inconsistent his entire career. Can he keep up pitching like an ace all season? The one thing Ricky Nolasco had going for him was the didn’t give up any home runs; he leads the league in home runs allowed. He’s nobody’s idea of an ace, and you certainly shouldn’t rely on him to carry your team in any way. Shoemaker has come back to reality after his stellar season last year, and Jesse Chavez has had two good games and one terrible game.

On top of all that, Richards is out long-term and Cam Bedrosian just joined him on the Dl, so there go your two best pitchers out for the foreseeable future. That’s not a great place for a rotation to be. The success these past two weeks has been mostly smoke and mirrors, and counting on that to hold up is foolish to say the least. That’s why the Angels need what should be a solid lineup to finally put it together and start scoring some runs. The Angels are going to need that lineup to showcase it’s depth, power, speed, on-base ability, and the best player on earth if the Angels are going to make some waves this season. Yunel Escobar has been solid and Mike Trout is still the best player on earth, but beyond that the lineup has failed to really produce much value.

Albert Pujols is a notoriously slow starter, so you can count on him having his numbers at the end of the year. This was supposed to be the year Kole Calhoun made the leap, and C.J. Cron, and both have struggled out of the gate. Cameron Maybin is batting .192 and starting to lose playing time to Ben Revere. Danny Espinosa is doing pretty much exactly what we thought he would with a bit of pop and twelve RBI, but he’s batting .194 and has struck out in nearly half(!) his at bats, a league leading twenty-eight times. That’s just not that much value for a lineup. Most of those players should be doing much better than that.

So there lies the hope. Pujols, Calhoun, and Maybin should all be expected to bounce back and start stringing together quality at-bats in the near future. Cron could still break out, but if he doesn’t, Luis Valbuena should be back from the DL soon enough to add even more depth and balance to the lineup. Once these players begin to experience a bit of positive regression, the runs will come. If the pitching staff is still stringing together solid innings, then the Angels will really have something. More likely, the offense will step up right when the pitching staff regresses, and the Angels we were expecting to see all season long will finally emerge.

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