Angels Insiders: April Struggles, Ryan Braun

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For the sixth time in the last eight seasons, the Angels finished April with a sub-.500 record. The last time the club was above .500 in the first month was two years ago, when the Halos were 14-13. The last time before that was 2011 when the team was 14-12, and were 12-6 in the third week. To find the last good April for the Angels, you have to go all the way back to 2008, when the team was 18-10. Here’s more on this issue, and others:

  • When asked about this April trend, Mike Scioscia couldn’t really pin-point exactly what the cause has been and just said, “We’ve looked into it.” It’s a strange occurrence considering the Angels have had enough talent on the field just about every season since their last trip to the playoffs to have a good April.
  • Some have attributed these slow starts to Scioscia’s management. However, the Halos are also one of the best teams in the Majors in the month of May. Their last two postseason appearances have come in seasons in which they were either bad or so-so in April, and then took off in May. So it’s really difficult to point straight to Scioscia’s management in that context.
  • One has to wonder if it’s simply a matter of roster construction. For quite a while, the Angels had a lot of streaky hitters. And at one point, they had several hitters who were known for starting slow. Players like Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, etc. have all taken some time in their careers to get it going, and then took off as the weather got hotter.
  • Or maybe it’s just one of those things one can never make sense out of. After all, it’s baseball. And the day this game actually does make perfect sense is the day it should be shut down. The last time the Angels had a good April was 2008, when they were 18-10.

Stepping away from April, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggested that the Angels would be a fit as a landing spot for Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. This came as a big surprise to many. But when we stop and think about it, there is a fit as far as the needs of the Halos in left field. Here’s more:

  • The Angels are one of six teams that are not on Braun’s no-trade list in his contract. Apparently, that list changes every season, and the Halos are one of the teams that has slipped by. After all, Braun is a Southern California native. One has to wonder, however, if the Angels would even take on that contract considering their recent history with big contracts, and Braun’s obvious history with PED’s.
  • What the club would have to give up for Braun is another story. Given the baggage associated with Braun’s career, one could argue that any trade would be a salary dump, and either a Major League player would be involved, or mid-level prospects. Braun’s performance would normally warrant a top prospect return. However, it wouldn’t be shocking if teams balked at mortgaging the farm for Ryan Braun.