Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images
Mike Trout was one of the few bright spots for the Angels this season
2013 marked another disappointing season for the Los Angeles Angels as the team failed to play up to expectations. Let’s take a look back at the season that was as well as a look forward to what the Angels need to do this offseason.
WHAT WENT WELL
No sophomore slump for Mike Trout
A year after leading the league with a 10.9 WAR, all Mike Trout did was lead the league again at 9.2. Offensively, Trout posted a .988 OPS, up from .963 in 2012, showing great patience at the plate as he led the American League in walks with 110. Trout did a great job setting the table, cutting down on his strikeouts and upping his walk rate from 10.5 percent to 15.4 percent.
Top end of the rotation
Weaver struggled through injuries, but still had a solid 3.27 ERA. Weaver’s fastball has really dropped off, averaging just 86.5 MPH last season. He’s countered the lack of velocity by going more to his changeup and curveball.
C.J. Wilson improved in his second season in Anaheim, putting together a 3.39 ERA – half a run better than in 2012.
WHAT DIDN’T GO WELL
Hamilton and Pujols combined to make $33.4 million. That breaks down to:
- $879K per home run
- $274K per run
- $136K per hit
Three seasons after leading the American League with a .359 BA and 1.044 OPS, Hamilton set career lows with a .250 BA and .739 OPS. Pujols meanwhile, set career-lows in pretty much every statistical category.
Lost That Running Feeling
Angels Last 5 Seasons
Last season the Angels were the second-most efficient base-stealing team, swiping bags at an 80 percent clip – behind only the Phillies. This season that fell to 71 percent – 19th in baseball.
The Angels bullpen struggled mightily this past season, combining for a 4.12 ERA this season – the fifth-worst in baseball. Among their relievers to throw at least 35 innings this season, only Dane De La Rosa posted an ERA under 3.00. A big issue was control as 10 percent of the batters the bullpen faced ended up walking.
Notable impending free agents
VargasJason Vargas – a savvy pickup in a trade with Seattle, Vargas made $8.5 million in 2013 and was solid for the Angels. He was especially good at home where he had a 3.30 ERA and spun a couple of shutouts (May 3 vs Baltimore Orioles, September 24 vs Oakland Athletics).
Robert Coello – elbow soreness limited Coello to 17 innings this season, but he was effective, allowing 14 hits while striking out 23 in that small sample size.
From an offensive standpoint, the Angels need to get healthy, but they do have a potential spot open at third base. Chris Nelson and Andrew Romine are among internal options. The free agent market is thin at third with players like Juan Uribe, Nick Punto and Eric Chavez available.
The rotation needs a lot of help as after Weaver and Wilson there isn’t much to be excited about. The starters market is healthy this offseason, but many of the players will come with a high price tag. James Shields, Jon Lester, A.J. Burnett, and Ubaldo Jimenez will all be expensive sign-and-trade possibilities. Ervin Santana had a resurgent year after being traded to the Kansas City Royals and will be on the market as well.
To address the bullpen issues, Joe Nathan, Fernando Rodney and Javier Lopez are some of the top options, but the Angels might be looking for lower budget options after swinging and missing with Ryan Madson this last offseason.