These Angels Are Slipping

The season is slipping away.

After getting blown out by the American League West Division-leading Texas Rangers, 7-0, Tuesday night in Anaheim, the Angels are now five games out of first place.

Well, they might as well be 50 because there seems little reason to expect this team to turn climb out of this hole.

Offense has been belemic and was practically barf-tastic Tuesday, with the team collecting just four hits off Rangers starter Jose Ogando, who also shut down the Angels in his previous start against the club back in June.

Middle relief has been a huge problem, and Michael Kohn was the latest victim, allowing three home runs — including back-to-back shots to Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre in the eighth inning — in just one and one-third innings.

Where will the answers come from?

Super-rookie Mike Trout is just 3 for 24 in his seven starts since his call-up earlier this month. Clearly, he needs more seasoning. Young catcher Hank Conger has struggled with consistency and was demoted prior to Tuesday’s game. Speedy center-fielder Peter Bourjos continues to be sidelined by an injured hamstring with no finite timetable for his return.

Veterans Bobby Abreu (.271 BA), Torii Hunter (.237) and Vernon Wells (.218) have all underperformed by most any standard. In fact, no regular has a batting average Howie Kendrick’s .291, and no player has supplied more power than rookie Mark Trumbo (14 HRs, 17 2Bs), who is merely a place-holder for Kendrys Morales.

Needless to say, the Angels lineup is completely underwhelming, and ranks 15th in ball in team batting.

The only real bright spots for this team have been its No. 1 and 2 starter, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. To duo have combined for a 22-10 record and an ERA around 2.30 in 40 starts this season. By comparison, the team’s No. 3, 4 and 5 starters, Ervin Santana, Joel Piniero and Tyler Chatwood are 14-20 with an ERA over 4.00.

Should GM Tony Reagins be a buyer or a seller at the deadline, now a little more than 10 days from now? And what would the team buy/sell?

It’s hard to nail down precisely who the team might buy, aside from perhaps the very-available Carlos Beltran. The outfield, though, is not an area of need should Abreu, Hunter and Wells begin to hit more consistently.

The only logical piece to sell would be Abreu, a free-agent after this season. Reagins would be hard-pressed to find valuable big-league contributors for the aging OF/DH, though. What the team might get for him would be some high-level pitching prospect(s), but they’d be a year (or more) away from helping in Anaheim.

This season is slipping away. And manager Mike Scioscia can’t far from grasping at straws.

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Filed under Baseball, Los Angeles Angels, MLB

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