May in Review: A Rollercoaster Month For The Angels

Updated: June 3, 2016

The Angels had a rollercoaster May that featured a 6 game home stand where they lost every game, followed by winning 6 of their next 7, then finishing the month 5-6. The month also featured numerous injuries such as ace Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney on May 6th (both with UCL damage), Andrelton Simmons on May 9th (thumb), Cliff Pennington on May 12th (hamstring), and Geovany Soto on May 19th (knee), increasing the DL to up to 10 players plus Tyler Skaggs at one point

The month feature many ups though. Matt Shoemaker began an amazing 3 game tear on May 21st, after he was optioned to begin the month and had 2 rough starts when he was recalled. He’s thrown 22.2 innings and allowed just 4 hits and 0 walks, while setting a team record for 33 straight strikeouts without recording a walk. The month also featured a few fantastic outings from Hector Santiago, Jhoulys Chacin (who threw a complete game), and Nick Tropeano.

The biggest news however was the signing of former two-time CY Young winner Tim Lincecum. The peaks continued, as the offense was 4th in the MLB with 5.1 runs/game and were third in all of baseball with a team .283 batting average

The month of May had a few stars, so this months Hitters and Pitcher of the Month were Mike Trout, Johnny Giavotella, and Fernando Salas

Trout was Trout. The man hit .340 with a 1.059 OPS. He also hit a team high 7 homers, 27 (hey irony) RBIs, 36 hits, 26 runs, and was 5/5 on stolen bases. Sharing the award with him is Johnny Giavotella . He has a rough start to the year, but picked it up this month, especially when Simmons went down. He led qualified hitters with a .348 average and also had a .839 OPS. He also had a career high 12 game hit streak and has significantly improved on his defense, providing a few Simmons-esque highlight plays.

Fernando Salas became the most reliable reliever out of the bullpen due to Huston Street, who was by far best reliever, missed basically the entire month. In that time, set up man Joe Smith became the closer, and before the Angels had no true 7th inning man.

So Salas stepped up big time, he pitched in 13.1 innings over 13 games and had an ERA of 2.03 (3 runs surrendered). He had just 2 walks and 12 K’s, giving him a WHIP of only 0.98 and a opponents average of .229. He went 2/5 in save opportunities, but only 2 of those 3 blown saves were bad outings by him. A great month for Salas

Now the “it’s still early” excuses are over. It’s summer time, and this is when teams begin their pushes. With numerous players like Lincecum, Wilson, Simmons, Skaggs, and Soto likely returning this month, the Angels must put their foots on the gas pedal and regain ground in the standings. As of June 2nd before the games began today, the Angels sat a car 7.0 games back of the Rangers for first in the division. If the Angels want to avoid wasting another year of Mike Trout, their push to the top must begin now, because it’ll be a marathon, not a sprint.

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