The Los Angeles Angels are technically still alive in the hunt for a playoff spot, as they haven’t been mathematically eliminated yet.
However, their chances of advancing are probably unrealistic at this point.
Los Angeles has a 68-70 record, good enough for fourth place in the suddenly-contested American League West division.
Very few people had the Angels being better than the Astros, but most of them had them competing with the Oakland Athletics and significantly better than the Seattle Mariners.
None of those things have happened this year.
Both the Mariners and A’s are comfortably above .500, at 75-63 and 74-63, respectively, while the Angels struggle to keep themselves afloat.
Injuries Have Gotten In The Angels’ Way
Complicating matters is the fact that outfielder Mike Trout usually the best and most reliable hitter in MLB, has been out with a grade 2 calf strain since May.
Our latest report about Trout came a little over a week ago: Angels manager Joe Maddon said on August 30 that the star is still dealing with some soreness in his ailing right calf.
The skipper also explained that the team is “getting closer” to having to make a decision on whether to shut Trout down.
At this point, if we are being realistic, there is no point in bringing back Trout.
The Angels are 12.5 games out of first place in the West, and they are also 10.5 games behind the New York Yankees for the first Wild Card spot and 10 behind the Boston Red Sox for the second berth.
It looks like the Angels wasted yet another season of Trout’s prime.
It’s even more painful now that they also have Shohei Ohtani on his way to the MVP season with a historic two-way performance (2.97 ERA in 112 innings as a pitcher and a league-leading 43 home runs with a .255/.355/.607 line as a hitter).
Putting things into context, the Angels have three of the greatest hitters in the game in Trout, Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon (signed as a free agent last season), yet they missed the postseason.
In their defense, Trout and Rendon have been injured or limited most of the year, but they do have Ohtani and have had him healthy all season, yet they haven’t even sniffed a playoff position.
The Pitching And The Front Office Are To Blame
It goes without saying that the Angels pitching is the primary culprit: the club has the seventh-most runs allowed per game (5.0) and Ohtani is their best pitcher.
It’s sad that they waste another year of Trout’s prime, though.
— Dean Schleicher (@DeanSchleicher) September 2, 2021
Trout, who has 310 career home runs and is just 30 years old, has only advanced to the postseason once, in 2014, with an early exit.
The only postseason hit of Mike Trout's career was this bomb on October 5, 2014
This gave the Angles the only lead that they had in the series pic.twitter.com/kJfk3q9WyT
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) January 23, 2021
He has been a star since 2012, with multiple MVP awards and many additional MVP-caliber seasons, yet the only thing he has to show for it on a collective level is a postseason berth seven years ago.
It’s not fair to one of the best players in the history of the game.
The Angels have at least started to address the situation, drafting pitchers with all of their 20 draft picks this year, but they failed to bring significant pitching reinforcements before the season or at the deadline.
As a result, they wasted another year of Trout, and sadly, that’s nothing new for fans.NEXT: Should Angels Only Have Shohei Ohtani Hit If Playoffs Are Out Of Reach?