The Los Angeles Angels were real contenders up until the trade deadline, on August 1.
Not because they didn’t make moves: to the contrary, they brought in several win-now pieces.
But that’s when things really started going south for the franchise, with a long string of losses, key injuries, and other obstacles.
Now, they are 70-87 and have been out of the race for weeks.
Can this team compete in 2024, knowing that chances are that they won’t have Ohtani back?
Trout seems to think they can compete.
“Mike Trout on if he feels Angels ownership/FO can get this team to postseason: ‘We’ve got a lot of young guys that came in. If you look at what happened over the year, you don’t see it. In April, while we were playing in Majors, our first baseman was taking at-bats,’” Angels insider Sam Blum tweeted, with Trout’s quotes.
Mike Trout on if he feels Angels ownership/FO can get this team to postseason:
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that came in. If you look at what happened over the year, you don’t see it. In April, while we were playing in Majors, our first baseman was taking at-bats.”
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) September 25, 2023
Blum clarified in the replies of the tweet that he meant the first baseman was taking college at-bats.
That first baseman is Nolan Schanuel, who was drafted this year and is already contributing a nice .284/.407/.343 line with a .750 OPS.
The Angels do have some interesting players, but things would get really tricky without Ohtani.
They don’t have the best farm out there, and pitching is still an issue.
They need more from the trio of Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, and Griffin Canning, and much more from Tyler Anderson.
Perhaps more than anything, they need to improve their player development skills because they are falling behind the rest of the league.
If Ohtani stays, the Angels can compete in 2024.
If he goes, it’s hard to see the Angels being relevant for at least a couple of years and that’s if they make the right moves.NEXT: Mike Trout Comments On Phil Nevin's Job