The baseball world has kept their eyes glued on the Angels this season. They have a talented group of players but have lots to prove as a team. They’re off to a great start, with an American League best 7-3 record. Despite early flashes of excitement that struck the world of baseball, they have recent injury troubles they will need to deal with in order to see continued success.
Everything clicked for the team in Monday’s 10-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Apart from capitalizing on errors, all five Angels RBI’s came from two of baseball’s most exhilarating names so far this season, Shohei Ohtani, and the always electrifying Mike Trout. But other key bats in the Angels order suffered injury blows this past week, including catcher Max Stassi, star third baseman Anthony Rendon and a season-ending knee injury for outfielder Dexter Fowler.
Ohtani’s performance has been generations in the making. The highly anticipated show of baseball’s first major two way player since Babe Ruth is finally here. Ohtani already made history last week, when he managed to hit triple digits both on the mound and off the bat in the same inning. On Monday, Ohtani made history yet again. On a two-run double in the seventh inning, Ohtani scorched the ball at an exit velocity 119 mph. He became just the fifth player to reach 119 mph off the bat since Statcast was introduced in 2015.
Trout is putting on yet another elite performance. So far he is batting .394 with four home runs. The Angels have been getting some additional offensive pop from first baseman/outfielder Jared Walsh, who has put up an impressive slash line of .367/.457/.733 to start.
With the way the three are playing, it certainly looks like the Angels have a unit that can carry them offensively through injury trouble. However, Ohtani has been bothered by a blister that has held him to just one start on the mound this season. While the Angels have still been able to successfully use Ohtani’s hitting services, his pitching services might be of greater need to the team. Starting pitching still looks like the team’s biggest weakness. But when Ohtani can come back pitch, the rotation could get a major leg up. Amidst all of this excitement, the team might not be able to solely rely on the three aforementioned bats to carry them through the full 162-game season. They will need other capable bats in their lineup to step up including David Fletcher, Jose Iglesias and Justin Upton. These three players are off to slow starts. The Angels will need this kind of diversity of production if they are going to stay atop the AL West Division. The division rival Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros won’t be doing the team many favors in the division race.
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