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I want you guys to tell me one reason you think the Angels are losing, and I'm going to crunch the numbers to find out what's true and what's just perception.

Sort of like Mythbusters.

For example

"The Angels strike out too much."

"The Angels situational hitting is bad."

"The Angels rotation is bad."

Go!

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Too many relievers who don’t have overpowering stuff in an era where many teams have stocked up on relievers with power arms

I can imagine that outside of Iglesias, the relievers don’t strike much fear in opposing hitters.

Collective WAR of the bullpen has to be well into the negative range over the past 34 games (9-25 record since high point of season 24-13).

I need to do what MAGA did, only with the relievers since May 16 compared to before. 

 

Edited by Angel Oracle
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15 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Too many PA from replacement level bench guys.

This is really it. The back half of the lineup is just a total zero. They're not fooling anyone anymore.

May 16th is really the day that things started to suck. That's the Texas series before the big losing streak when they got swept after taking 3 of 4 from Oakland. They were the #1 mlb offense at that point in runs scored. Since then, they're 28th. A complete 180. Some of that is probably due to Ward and Rendon missing time. As well as Trout.

The pitching staff was 4th in ERA through May 16, and 24th since. So still a big drop, but not as huge as the offense. Bullpen and SP have been about equally ranked.

Here's how the usual suspects have performed since May 16:

Velazquez before: image.png.29aeae805d0615d954310afd3489c9fc.png

Velazquez since: image.png.123addeae3cf2465354190f74c68aca3.png

Marsh before: image.png.1dba586ee53a75614c2f6f5b51057465.png

Marsh since: image.png.fa46d16805f22c0a1060ea7ef8622d9e.png

Wade before: image.png.e528361bc2633d93ddee987dfe9b52fe.png

Wade since: image.png.c78f5e1a6115292a503c3f6f283bdf23.png

Duffy before: image.png.dc9ebedc90555b5e1f2faeb1fe1de239.png

Duffy since: image.png.1da089599f21b19ac6f5aa62eca907de.png

Lagares got here 5/26 and has hit this: 

.196 .224 .268 .492

 

Rengifo has done this since 5/16: image.png.8ec90a8df01dde88c94fc66ac26d5621.png

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35 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Too many PA from replacement level bench guys.

 

22 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Too many relievers who don’t have overpowering stuff in an era where many teams have stocked up on relievers with power arms

I can imagine that outside of Iglesias, the relievers don’t strike much fear in opposing hitters.

Collective WAR of the bullpen has to be well into the negative range over the past 34 games (9-25 record since high point of season 24-13).

 

I clicked into this thread and was going to go with these two as well. 

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32 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Too many PA from replacement level bench guys.

I think this is the correct answer.
 

I think blaming Arte is oversimplifying it. Do I believe in the past he was heavily involved yes, so I believe there are things that tell us that isn’t as true any more yes. I think the fact Perry brought in a legit front office team is a sign he’s interfering less. I think allowing Minasian to fire his hand picked manager is a sign.  

I don’t blame Arte for any peripheral signing like Wade, or Velazquez or Duffy or Loup, or any of the arms Eppler brought in.  

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1 minute ago, Stradling said:

I think this is the correct answer.
 

I think blaming Arte is oversimplifying it. Do I believe in the past he was heavily involved yes, so I believe there are things that tell us that isn’t as true any more yes. I think the fact Perry brought in a legit front office team is a sign he’s interfering less. I think allowing Minasian to fire his hand picked manager is a sign.  

I don’t blame Arte for any peripheral signing like Wade, or Velazquez or Duffy or Loup, or any of the arms Eppler brought in.  

100%

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The Angels have one of the top 1-2 punch in the league with Trout and Ohtani who's been good but not great, but last night shows what he's fully capable of.  Ward and Walsh are above average, but the rest of the lineup is a black hole.  Ohtani is your ace and Sandoval is approaching that status too if he learns how to be consistent and learn to not walk too many hitters. The rest of the starters are subpar who were exceeding expectations at the start of the season.  With the exception of Iglesias, there really isn't anyone in the bullpen I trust and even Iglesias has imploded several times.  I don't think there's one large reason that's wrong with the team.  It's just a very flawed roster with numerous holes that's very top heavy in a game where nearly every roster spot needs to contribute regularly.  So essentially, top 5 players combined WAR for the Angels = one of the best.  6-26: one of the worst. 

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I would go with the weak offensive performance at 2nd, 3rd and SS, plus I believe the inconsistency of the bullpen setup arms is right up there as well.  Actually all of Minasian's off season signings have underperformed with the exception of Lorenzen.  Proper overall depth was not really addressed effectively.  Manager replacement should have been addressed in the coming off season with someone more experienced than Nevin.  Actually, when it comes down to manager this organization has had only four managers with records better than .500.  2000-2018 Mike Scioscia 1650-1428, 1981-1987 Gene Mauch 379-332, 1989-1991 Doug Rader 232-216, and 1976-1977 Norm Sherry 76-71. 

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Arte is like the roulette player who hit it big on his first bet and believes he now knows how to win. He keeps betting on the same number thinking it's magical. Vlad was luck. It was bold and exciting but its' not a long-term winning formula. Is there a way to crunch those numbers?

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I'd probably go with top heavy payroll.

Creates a need to replace highly paid position players with very cheap replacement level players. Having 1 Velasquez is something you can hide. Having 5 of them on the field at the same time is a death sentence. (unless you're the A's or Ray's). Seems to be a philosophical problem from the top down.

Is it the coach...yes, is it the owner...yes, is it the GM...yes, is it the players...yes, is Cals an idiot...definitively yes.

Players can only play to the limit of their abilities. Coach can only play who he has available. GM can only sign players with the budget available. Owner can only pay with his excess yacht fuel money.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

To be clear, these need to be quantifiable things, so I can look up the numbers in relation to other teams.

I think the Angels biggest issue is position player depth, but I realize that’s not the easiest thing to quantify in comparison to other teams.

 

I’d start here, though:

• The Angels have 14 position players with an fWAR of 0.0 or below.

• The Angels have given 1,006 PA’s to position players with an fWAR of 0.0 or below, for a combined total of -3.3 fWAR.

 

EDIT: Compared to the rest of the AL:

Team Record Total # Total PA's Total WAR
NYY 50-18 3 30 -0.2
HOU 42-25 7 673 -1.6
TOR 38-30 3 281 -0.9
CLE 35-28 9 640 -2.2
MIN 38-31 7 514 -1.5
BOS 38-31 8 621 -2.2
TB 37-31 5 471 -1.6
CWS 33-33 6 686 -2.1
TEX 32-35 8 554 -1.7
LAA 33-38 14 1,006 -3.3
SEA 30-39 9 535 -1.1
BAL 30-39 9 654 -2.3
DET 26-42 11 1,572 -3.7
KC 25-42 4 303 -0.7
OAK 23-46 15 1,127 -2.7


Key:

Total # = total number of position players with an fWAR of 0.0 or below.

Total PA’s = total number of plate appearances given to players with an fWAR of 0.0 or below.

Total War = total combined fWAR of players with an fWAR of 0.0 or below.

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The pen, primarily. If you want to leverage close games into wins you have to have a great pen combined with a good enough offense. IIRC the Angels outperformed their pythag for six years in a row starting in '04, mostly due to having a great pen during that time.

The Angels have lost 10 straight 1-run games. They haven't won a 1-run game since May 8th.

If continually losing close games is deflating to the fans I wonder how it is to the players? They are pros but this is extreme.

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Angels second in blown saves, last in War from 2B, negative WAR from left field, PH, catcher (BIG drop from Stassi's performance last year).  A six-man rotation makes sense if you got 6 quality starters, but for the Angels it just exposes a lack of depth, especially when a starter goes down.  It also leaves one less guy in an overworked bullpen.  Bullpen is third from bottom in WAR (negative 2.3).  Velasquez dead last in offensive WAR.  

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Hey Jeff, I hope these are somewhat quantifiable, thanks for the homework assignment!

-Performance at the plate with RISP. Either we don't advance the runner with a sac fly or we can't get a clutch hit. Seems like way too often we have guys on 2nd or 3rd with nobody out, or one out, and they don't score. 

-Once we get past Ward, Trout, Ohtani, Walsh in the line up, batting averages and situational hitting drop off so even if the top of the lineup gets on base, there's nobody to drive them in. An inning with our 5-9 guys is 3 quick outs. 

-Whiff/Watching Strikes rate. We seem to swing and miss or foul off strikes that should be put into play. Or we just watch them. 

-Bad contact, way too many soft grounders to infielders. We need to be DRIVING the ball, not hitting lazy grounders. 

-Watching strikes right down the pipe, then swinging at balls for weak contact/easy outs. 

-Our pitchers give up hits with 2 strikes when they need a put out pitch.

-Pitchers give up bases with walks instead of challenging the hitters. Walks will kill you. They need to let the batters get themselves out.

-Our caught stealing from our catchers is a combined 19.6% (10 caught / 51 attempts) which just gives up free bases. 

-Poor in game decisions from coaching: Yanking a reliever who just struck out 2 batters for a match up. Pinch hitting Legares for Marsh in the 6th, who ends up going up to the plate 3 more times during the game and is 0 for 3.

I think that's good for now.  

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I would say

1. the 5-9 in the order. Losing a healthy Rendon  and Fletcher is huge. You can have a guy like Squid or Marsh who may be struggling offensively, but great defensively, if you had those two hitting.

2. Bullpen is weak. Like what was said above, they don’t instill fear into opposing batters. They try to pitch around, get behind in the count and then throw it down the middle.

3. Too many called strike one and three. It drives me crazy to see Trout stare at strike one down the middle and basically start his at bat behind the count.

4. Pulling Iglesias last night after 10 pitches sucked. That’s bad management.

5. Lack of situational hitting.

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1 hour ago, Angelsjunky said:

Too many PA from replacement level bench guys.

yep. replacing rendon with duffy, wade, et al has been a big drop off offensively from what we should've had from rendon. our offensive production from SS and 2B have also been horrible. 

there are going to be ups and downs with the bullpen, but the lack of offense from our infield is a bigger problem imho.

i would also wager that having juan lagares and his unproductive offense get playing time in the OF is equally an issue.

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32 minutes ago, Trendon said:
Team Record Total # Total PA's Total WAR
NYY 50-18 3 30 -0.2
HOU 42-25 7 673 -1.6
TOR 38-30 3 281 -0.9
CLE 35-28 9 640 -2.2
MIN 38-31 7 514 -1.5
BOS 38-31 8 621 -2.2
TB 37-31 5 471 -1.6
CWS 33-33 6 686 -2.1
TEX 32-35 8 554 -1.7
LAA 33-38 14 1,006 -3.3
SEA 30-39 9 535 -1.1
BAL 30-39 9 654 -2.3
DET 26-42 11 1,572 -3.7
KC 25-42 4 303 -0.7
OAK 23-46 15 1,127 -2.7

This is sorted by Win%, so it gives you an idea of how the best teams fare vs. the worst teams.

 

My takeaways:

• Detroit, who has an historically bad offense, is the only team with a lower combined fWAR in the AL among players with 0.0 fWAR or below.

• Oakland, who lost half of their lineup (Marte, Canha, Olson, and Chapman), is the only AL team with more position players who have an fWAR of 0.0 or below.

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Hi Jeff, here are some possible reasons:

  1. Team strikeouts are high.
  2. Angels hitters are getting beat by opposing pitcher fastballs.
  3. Angels hitters are not making enough contact on pitches in the strike zone.
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