Ron Washington: Angels Need To Put In Work To Solve First-Pitch Strike Issues
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington came into Spring Training with a goal for the team’s new-look pitching staff. That was to focus on getting ahead of hitters with first-pitch strikes, an issue that plagued the team for much of last season.

The early focus on first-pitch strikes didn’t pan out. They met as a staff on April 22 to discuss the ongoing issue, as the Angels ranked 29th in the Majors at that time. And since then, it has only gotten worse, as the Angels now rank 30th in MLB in first-pitch strikes.

Washington and the Angels have attempted to address this issue several times this season, to no avail. The Halos manager spoke about what needs to happen to turn talk of first-pitch strikes into results, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“We know what we want to do,” Manager Ron Washington said on Tuesday. “We’ve got to do the work to make it happen. We’re talking about it every day. We’re going out and trying to do it. I can’t give you a timetable when it’s really going to kick in. It’s part of our mindset. At some point it will kick in. It just doesn’t kick in as fast as we would like to see it.”

Angels pitching coach Barry Enright admitted that the issue has been frustrating, despite the fact that the team continues to discuss how to improve on a daily basis.

“It’s been a struggle,” pitching coach Barry Enright said. “It’s something that we preached since Day One, and did really well in spring training. They still get their printouts (with the stats) every series and we go through it and talk about the strategies behind it.”

Washington remains confident that Angels pitching can turn things around. But through seven weeks of the MLB season, it’s clear the Halos are not turning their goals into results. Washington and Enright will undoubtedly continue to look at the issue, and hope that the numbers eventually turn around.

Ron Washington searching for answers among second-chance players

When the Angels’ dismal organization depth was tested in the early part of this season, Perry Minasian quickly had to look at other organizations.

Since Opening Day, the Angels have brought in Amir Garrett, Cole Tucker, Kevin Pillar, Willie Calhoun, Luis Guillorme and Niko Goodrum into the mix. All of these players were cast aside by several organizations within the last year, but have found second-chance homes with the Angels.

Unfortunately, the Angels are relying on these players to have career renaissances just to keep the team afloat. And that’s the dilemma Washington discussed as that group becomes more integral to the team’s day-to-day operation.

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