Another Trout-Less Postseason


Ever since outfielder Mike Trout was able to burst onto the scene in 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels, he has been a one-man wrecking crew. In 2012, Trout was named as the American League’s Rookie of the Year as he batted .326 with 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, and 49 stolen bases. And only a Triple Crown season from Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera prevented Trout from being the A.L.’s MVP. Since then Trout has gone on to win a pair of A.L. MVP Awards, and even at the age of 26, he has some observers already considering him for the Baseball Hall of Fame. There isn’t anything that Trout can’t do on the baseball diamond as he is one of the few five-star players in MLB, but the only thing that has eluded him is postseason success.

With Trout, the Angels have only one playoff trip and it was very brief. In 2014, the Halos finished with the best record in the American League as they won 98 games. However Los Angeles would be swept by the Kansas City Royals in the American League Divisional Playoffs. And in that series Trout was 1-for-12 which is the equivalent to a batting average of .083. Since then Trout has continued to put up quality numbers on bad Angels teams. But how much longer can Major League Baseball afford to have their best player in Trout be a spectator in October?

The expanded postseason means that there is more of an opportunity for the best players in baseball be showcased on the game’s biggest stage, but Trout has not been able to attend the party.

Major League Baseball has benefited over the last few years in big market teams in the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs making postseason runs in order to keep the ratings up, but the time has come for an individual player such as Trout to be showcased.

Just prior to Major League Baseball’s waiver deadline on August 31, Angels general manager Billy Eppler was hard at work in regards to improving the roster around Trout. The Angels were able to acquire outfielder Justin Upton from the Tigers as well as infielder Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves. Los Angeles appeared to be ready to acquire starting pitcher Justin Verlander from the Tigers. But Verlander would not waive his no-trade clause to join the Angels, and instead opted to partner up with the Houston Astros which could have been the move to put them over the top.

On September 1, the Angels were 69-65 and had a puncher’s chance to pick up the wild card slot in the American League. By September 16, the Halos were 76-72 and just one game behind the Minnesota Twins for the final wild card spot. But the Angels would then run into the two best teams in the A.L. as they were swept at home by the Cleveland Indians, while dropping a series to the Astros. Overall the Angels would lose a pair of series to the Astros this month with Verlander getting a victory in each one. And with the Twins clinching the second wild card berth in the A.L. last night, the only thing for the Angels to do now is to finish out the final weekend of the season.

In acquiring Upton, the Angels were able to get some much needed protection in their lineup as he (Upton) is under contract now throughout 2021. Phillips is set to become a free agent, and although that designated hitter Albert Pujols is no longer the player that he once was, he is still a valuable hitter in the middle of the Angels lineup.

Eppler and Angels manager Mike Scioscia will undoubtedly be hard at work during the off-season to get the Angels to the playoffs in 2018, but there main focus needs to be on starting pitching. The Angels 60 quality starts this year is tied for last in the American League, while no starting pitcher on the team will reach the 200-innings mark this season. Starting pitcher JC Ramirez leads the team in wins with only 11. And for the Angels to improve and become a playoff team next year, it will have to start on the mound.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish and Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta are each set to become free agents at the conclusion of the World Series, and each man is expected to have a heavy price tag attached to him over the winter, while I would also expect to see the Angels inquire about acquiring either Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays, or Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays. Angels owner Arte Moreno has never been shy when it comes to spending money on his team and now that this will make it three consecutive Octobers in which his team is not playing, you can expect him to spend some cash during the off-season in order to change that.

The Major League Baseball Playoffs should be exciting next month, but how much better would it be if the modern day Mickey Mantle in Trout was participating in it?

By | 2017-09-28T17:52:16+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Categories: Major League Baseball|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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