There is plenty that went wrong for the Los Angeles Angels during the 2021 season. General manager Perry Minasian hoped to be fighting for a Wild Card spot — and they were for much of the year — but L.A. ultimately could not overcome pitching deficiencies and major injuries.
For those looking for some hope going into next season, it could very easily be argued that injuries are the main reason the Angels were not significantly closer to the playoff picture. Mike Trout missed 126 games, Anthony Rendon missed 104, Justin Upton missed 73, Max Stassi played in just 87 games, and Patrick Sandoval also succumbed to a season-ending injury.
Minasian obviously has a lot of work to do and decisions to make during the offseason, but figuring out the team’s injury problem is high on the priority list for him, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“We’ll go through each individual injury,” Minasian said. “What was done the past offseason, who they worked with, what they did in-season, time in the weight room, time in the trainer’s room,” Minasian said. “What their recovery was like. What their routine is. It’s going through each individual player. And it’s not only the guys that were hurt, but the guys that were healthy, and why did they stay healthy? Is there some type of adjustment we can make as an organization to keep guys on the field?”
Sometimes, injuries are just a part of the game and cannot be prevented. However, Rendon did not have lower body issues prior to this year, and he’s not yet at an age where that would be expected. So perhaps something went wrong in his offseason training program.
Trout’s injury was also supposed to last just 6-8 weeks, yet he ended up missing over four and a half months worth of games. Sandoval, Chris Rodriguez, Upton, and Griffin Canning all suffered back injuries, which can be extremely tricky to deal with.
All of this means that if the Angels simply do nothing and pray their injury luck turns around, it’s unlikely to. They need to make a conscious effort to fix training regimens, recovery programs, and in-game issues to prevent injuries from happening and make the returns faster if they do.
Angels could look internally for shortstop position
The Angels could take advantage of a loaded shortstop class and pay big money to one of the many free agents at the position. However, they may want to use their resources more wisely than that. To do that, they can look internally to fill that position.
Minasian praised Luis Rengifo for his work at shortstop during the final month of the season, and also hinted that David Fletcher could be moved from second base.