Long Way to Lose
The Los Angels of Anaheim suffered a bitter defeat yesterday, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 in a marathon 18 inning game. The loss was the fourth in a row for the struggling Angels, who have seen their AL West lead shrink to 3.5 games over the surging Oakland A's. While LAist still thinks the Angels will wind up winning the West, Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia need to be very concerned about the team's hitting. The Halos are 10th in the AL in runs scored, and 13th in both On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage, ahead of only the Seattle Mariners. It's almost embarrassing to play 18 innings against the Blue Jays and score just one run off seven of their pitchers.
Everyone knows Vladimir Guerrero can hit, but he needs some help. Garrett Anderson's power numbers are slightly down, and while he's still hitting .289, his .315 OBP will hurt the team if he's only slugging .435. Adam Kennedy and Chone Figgins are the only regular Angels, besides Guerrero, with an on-base percentage above the typical league-average of .340. Darin Erstad has been his typical overrated self. Orlando Cabrera and Steve Finley remain disappointments. Guys like Jeff DaVanon, Juan Rivera, Bengie Molina, Jose Molina, Robb Quinlan, and Maicer Izturis are simply weak hitters. This team really misses Jose Guillen's contributions from last year, and Troy Glaus' output whenever he was healthy. Dallas McPherson is slowly coming along, but he's on the DL now.
With the trade deadline coming up, the Angels would be well-served to acquire another legitimate offensive threat. Their pitching staff is already excellent from top to bottom. Maybe they can pluck away a Mike Cameron from the Mets and have him start in centerfield over Steve Finley. Maybe they can pick up a Matt Lawton and have him go in and out of DHing with Anderson. Maybe they can get involved in the Adam Dunn sweepstakes if they're just willing to be a little creative. Chances are most deadline deals this year will involve trades between teams still in the race, so it's time for Bill Stoneman to step up and make a talent-for-talent deal so that this team can have an offense which could conveivably match up with the Red Sox in October.