Albert Pujols, once considered (by some) to be more or less 'finished' as a high-level everyday player, made the All-Star team for the first time since 2010. He hadn't made it yet as an Angel, remarkably. He's played in 84 of the Halos' 88 games, and has mashed 26 home runs already (he only hit 28 in all of 2014). He's once again been a deadly presence in the Angels' lineup, and it's helped them reclaim first place heading into the break.
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June 21: Weave hits the DL
The Angels haven't gotten much out of ace Jered Weaver yet in 2015. On the disabled list with hip inflammation since June 21, Weaver went just 4-8 with a 4.75 ERA in 15 starts, allowing 51 earned runs in just over 96 innings of work. His drop in velocity has been well documented, and it's unclear whether he'll come back from the DL throwing harder than the 86-88 mph he's been clocked at earlier in the year. Obviously, a return to form for Weaver would help the Angels gain more stability down the stretch from a pitching standpoint.
APFrank Franklin II
High: Mike Trout doing Mike Trout things
Hey, Mike Trout is good. He's proven that yet again, being an otherwordly consistent offensive threat even while his Angel teammates struggled to score runs. With 26 homers at the break, Trout seems like a lock to surge past his 2014 total of 36 big flies, while once again making highlight-reel catches in the outfield. All this to say: any team with Mike Trout playing everyday has a chance to be special, and that's a big reason why the Angels enter the break 48-40 and alone in first place.
The dissolution of Josh Hamilton's tenure in Anaheim couldn't have been uglier. From owner Arte Moreno's public comments about the situation (and the negative reaction to them) to the awkwardness leading up to the eventual intra-division trade sending him back to Texas, it was not a desirable sequence of events. The Angels have played better since Hamilton left, but that might not be related to the situation - since the left field position has still been a sore spot in the Halos' inconsistent (until late) offense.
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July 12: Hector Santiago, All-Star
Lefty Hector Santiago has 'found it' in 2015. After kicking around a few years as a middle-of-the-rotation filler type, he made the AL All-Star squad on Sunday as a replacement for Oakland's Sonny Gray. In 18 appearances (and 17 starts), Santiago owns a fabulous 2.33 ERA and a 6-4 record, though he's pitched better than that record would indicate. At any rate, he's been a huge asset for the Angels' pitching staff, as they suddenly have a reliable, consistent lefty to off-set the typically inconsistent efforts from veteran C.J. Wilson.
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July 1: Dipoto steps down
Manager Mike Scioscia and (now former) GM Jerry Dipoto never saw eye-to-eye about certain aspects of running the Angels. Their growing frustrations resulted in Dipoto stepping down, leaving the post he'd had for quite some time. Though the Angels have had success scoring runs, winning games and reclaiming first place since he left, the tense nature of the situation prior to his resignation made headlines around the league for the wrong reasons. So far, at least, the Angels, Scioscia and Moreno have had the last laugh.
Gary A. Vasquez
July 12: First place!
Despite it all - despite the Josh Hamilton mess, the Jerry Dipoto vs. Mike Scioscia showdown and offensive issues with players like David Freese and the left field hole, the Angels entered the break 48-40. A spirited last week of the first half allowed them to surge past the slumping Houston Astros and take control of the competitive AL West. That's a testament to the talent level peppering the 25-man roster, and if they want to make themselves back-to-back AL West champions in a few months they'll probably have to keep up this level of play...something they should be capable of doing if they continue playing to their abilities.