Estimating The Halos’ 2017 Playoff Chances

Updated: February 21, 2017

The Angels head into 2017 with a much deeper roster than was the case last year. Will this be enough to push them back into October baseball?

In 2016, the Angels accumulated more losses than ever since the turn of the century. As a result, questions galore surround the team and the job security of Mike Scioscia.

Questions galore also stem from wondering whether the team did enough in the offseason. It is certainly not to say that the squad is unimproved. GM Billy Eppler did his part with the resources he was bestowed with. However, owner Arte Moreno was still reticent to squeak over the luxury tax threshold, which makes sense in some capacity. The team will be paying Josh Hamilton well over $20 million in 2017 to do absolutely nothing worthwhile for the Angels. That is a good amount of cash that could otherwise be used for another player or players.

The easiest thing to bank on with this current cast is the fact that they have the services of a rare, 5-tool talent in Mike Trout. He is the type of guy that can individually give a team around 10 wins a year. Comprehending that is about as close to unfathomable as can be, yet it is a testament to just how good number 27 is.

A lot of their success will be contingent upon not only the success, but the overall health of the pitching staff. With Jered Weaver gone and C.J. Wilson’s hefty contract off the books, more pressure exists for this current tandem to elevate their game to the next level. Aside from 2014, Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker have not demonstrated absolute consistency. Some this is due to the health element. Precisely the same goes for southpaw, Tyler Skaggs, who finally has the chance to get his career back on track.

In the bullpen, the Angels have three potential closers in Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian, and Andrew Bailey. Thus, no matter who ends up winning the duties in 2017, there will be plenty of backup assistance. This is encouraging news for a bullpen that was noticeably worn out at points last year. It gives Scioscia multiple options to pore over provided that the manager tends to be meticulous when it comes to pitching strategies.

Defensively, the squad boasts four potential Gold Glove candidates in Trout, Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, and last but not least Danny Espinosa. Now that is some kind of luxury. Enough said in this department.

What is important to note, too, is that the team has several options as to who could be a table setter. Yunel Escobar is back after putting up a fine campaign offensively for the club. New additions Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere could also fulfill this role perhaps from time to time. The pair is also key to the Halos’ success since the left field situation has not been a strong suit in recent memory. The duo could potentially reverse the ugly trend.

The Machine, Albert Pujols, may not start on Opening Day. In spite of that possibility, he will once again be responsible for being a top run producer on the team. Given his past, it is fair to believe that he will deliver for that is just who Albert is. The nickname speaks for itself.

Even though the team lost Jett Bandy, Eppler picked up another backstop in Martin Maldonado during the same deal. Granted the latter may not be a major contributor offensively, Maldonado is known for being adept at framing pitchers. This will come as a major help to Carlos Perez, who will likely serve as the starter.

The Angels clearly occupy more depth than they did last year. Notwithstanding that truth, a lot of their success will be determined by guys hopefully avoiding the DL. Assuming health is not as large of a dilemma in 2017, it is extremely likely the team will be competing for a playoff berth.

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