In 2014, when the Orioles won the American League East crown, the best team in the AL was the Los Angeles Angels, who won 98 games and would have had home-field advantage throughout the World Series if the steamrolling Kansas City Royals hadn’t changed everyone’s plans.
The Angels were mediocre last year – 85-77 and third place in the AL West – but this year, well the start of this year has been far from good. And the Orioles hope to make that start worse with a three-game series in Anaheim starting Friday night.
Due to injuries, the Angels are without several key players including ace Garrett Richards, closer Huston Street and shortstop Andrelton Simmons. They are also on the wrong side of getting old – that point punctuated by the decline of former superstar Albert Pujols, who still has power but can no longer hit for average.
To make matters worse, the Angels have one of the worst farm systems in baseball – Baseball America ranked it 30 of 30 to begin the year. Right now, this club is struggling to stay out of the basement in the West.
So what the heck happened to the Angels in this past year-and-a-half?
Jeff Fletcher, the fantastic Angels beat writer for the Orange County Register, explains in this week’s “Around The Beat” podcast.
He also weighs in on the possibility of Mike Trout being traded, his thoughts on Manny Machado’s ascension and what can be expected of former Angel Mark Trumbo.
Check it out.