The Los Angeles Angels were one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this season, but there is plenty of reason for optimism as they look to the future.
Shohei Ohtani just put together one of the greatest individual seasons in MLB history, and that was despite playing most of the year without fellow superstars Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.
Trout was limited to 36 games after suffering a Grade 2 calf strain in May that initially was expected to keep him sidelined for only 6-8 weeks. Multiple setbacks ultimately prevented him from returning, unfortunately, as he officially decided to shut it down last week.
Although his recovery process was nothing short of frustrating, Trout is beginning to feel a lot better after taking a short break from baseball activities, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“Once I talked to the trainers and talked to the front office and made the decision to shut it down, I kind of took a little bit of time off,” Trout said. “And then I started doing things again, I started running, I started working out. I’m feeling great. I don’t feel it at all.”
As the Angels enter a crucial offseason, Trout is optimistic the front office will make the necessary upgrades to propel the club back into playoff contention next year:
“This offseason’s going to be big,” Trout said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of money to spend. Hopefully, we go out there and get some big guys. I trust Perry (Minasian). I trust the top guys in this organization. We talk every day. Obviously (manager Joe Maddon) has put his word out there on what he thinks is needed to go in the right direction.”
Trout is the latest Angels player to speak out about the team’s struggles this season, following Ohtani, who expressed a desire to play competitive baseball and ultimately win a World Series title.
While some were concerned with Ohtani’s tone given that he is scheduled to become a free agent in two years, manager Joe Maddon did not get the impression he wants to leave.
However, it goes without saying that the Angels’ best chance of keeping their core together is by significantly improving next season.
It’s a message Maddon previously echoed to general manager Perry Minasian, who understands he needs to bolster the roster in order to get the club back on track.
Iglesias making it ‘main priority’ to stay with Angels
One important piece of business the Angels must settle this winter is working out a new contract with closer Raisel Iglesias.
Coming off a career year, the 31-year-old figures to have no shortage of suitors in free agency. However, he recently revealed that his top priority is staying with the Angels and being part of their winning team.