On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Angels will close the door on 2016. While many are looking forward to 2017, the Angels will have a New Year’s resolution to keep.
The Los Angeles Angels are a lot like everyone else, ready for 2016 to be over. While many people are ready for 2017 for different reasons, we can all agree that it’s about time that 2016 is over. Whether it’s the celebrity deaths or the results of the election, many are looking forward to 2017 with great anticipation.
Specifically for the Angels, 2017 represents a fresh start and a strong chance to contend in the AL West. The Angels signed a variety of defensive minded players to help with the holes in the pitching staff. Keeping the team fresh and healthy has to be on the minds of the coaches and training staff.
In fact, the Angels should only have one New Year’s resolution and that is to stay healthy by any means necessary. Last season, the injury bug feasted on the Los Angeles Angels as if they were an all-you-can-eat buffet. It began in the month of April when the Angels announced that C.J. Wilson was going to be shutdown for shoulder surgery.
From there, the bad luck began to spread as Andrew Heaney suffered a strained flexor muscle. By the end of May, the Angels had Wilson, Heaney, Garrett Richards, and Nick Tropeano on the DL all at the same time.
This, of course, led to the Angels acquiring Jhoulys Chacin and Tim Lincecum as the wheels of the pitching staff began to come off the tracks. By the end of June, the Angels were 15 games below .500 and had only won eight games throughout the month.
This season, the Angels have the return of Richards, along with a healthy pitching staff. Heaney and Tropeano will likely miss the entire 2017 season. Richards will be accompanied with returning and new pitchers in the rotation.
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Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, Jesse Chavez, and Ricky Nolasco are likely to make up the rest of the rotation. A rotation that must stay healthy throughout next season, especially Richards. This isn’t the high profile rotation that you would expect for a team that could win their division next season. However, the Angels are more than capable of doing just that.
They will have the chance to win with defense, and of course Mike Trout on the offensive side of the ball. The Angels have more experienced players within the infield to play alongside Andrelton Simmons. They have also upgraded the dreaded left field position in the outfield.
We can expect for the Angels pitchers and catchers to begin reporting sometime between February 13th and 15th. The excitement of the season will begin to shine from there as the MLB rolls out its red carpet on the 2017 season.