With the 2016 season coming to an end, the Angels found themselves at 88 losses and a pitching staff left nearly in shambles due to catastrophic to their rotation and back end of their bullpen. Losing Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, and Nick Tropeano to torn UCL’s, and the latter two undergoing Tommy John Surgery, the season and the future looked grim real quick.
As if that wasn’t enough, setup man Joe Smith and closer Huston Street struggled with nagging injuries, and then Street was traded at the July 31 deadline just as he got healthy. Street had season ending knee surgery. The core of the Halos’ staff was blown apart, and so was the season. However, in the midst of all the chaos, the Angels actually were able to get some good news.
Enter Garrett Richards and his stem cell treatment. This method has worked before on Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, and so far it’s showing remarkable results in Richards’ elbow. Receiving injections, Richards nursed his arm and later underwent physical therapy to prepare his arm to be tested with throwing.
Beginning with some long toss and light bullpen sessions, the young ace stepped further than many had hoped. And he was facing live hitters in simulated games by September. Now he’s playing instructional league ball. With that, Richards is on track to be ready for Spring Training 2017.
And that will be a major boost for a team looking to bounce back.
More From Around The Big A…
Weaver May Pitch in 2017
"I am definitely not going to retire."
Jered Weaver discusses the future of his career, his plans for the offseason and more. LISTEN: pic.twitter.com/ji7mZVZWAj
— Angels (@Angels) October 2, 2016
- Weaver may have likely pitched his last game with the Angels, but that doesn’t mean his career is completely over. He may receive interest in the offseason, or he may not. Perhaps a minor league contract?
- Angels GM Billy Eppler sees Weaver as an aging pitcher who is losing it, which is understandable for a GM who is trying to build a contending ball club. Mike Scioscia on the other hand sees Weaver as a guy who always figures it out and is a very important piece to the Angels’ clubhouse, which is very true. So both are right. It will have to just come down to a front office decision.
- Then again, Weaver may just retire any ways if he doen’t get any interest. We’ll be watching.
Scioscia Will Manage The Angels In 2017
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 2, 2016
- Scioscia will manage the Angels in 2017. Despite the aforementioned 88 loss season, both GM Billy Eppler and owner Arte Moreno endorsed Mike and pointed out the fact that the Angels’ pitching staff was crippled by major injuries that left the team scratching and clawing all season long. Arte even said, “It’s tough to win when you don’t have pitching.” That’s a universal fact.
- At the same time, however, several contenders even had their rotations dented by injuries and struggles, prompting questions by fans about the difference between the Angels and teams like the Rangers and Dodgers. Well, these aren’t very good questions because of the simple fact: the Rangers didn’t lose Hamels, Darvish, and their setup man and closer for the season. The Dodgers didn’t lose Kershaw, Maeda, and Jansen for the season either.
- Another fact that remains regarding Scioscia, is that he is always instilling confidence in his players, and stresses doing things right on the field, which is what transformed the Angels franchise in the first place. The players love playing for him. That’s why he’s still there.
- It’s also pretty clear that the armchair fan culture’s growing resentment of Mike Scioscia has partially stemmed from the fact that he won’t take anyone’s crap. He wouldn’t put up with Mike Napoli’s poor work ethic and partying habits, he wouldn’t give Jose Guillen an inch after openly disrespecting him on the field, and Mike wouldn’t let Jerry Dipoto force his one dimensional approach down his throat. Armchair Halos fans can’t seem to handle that for some weird reason.
- Then there’s the inconsistent logic in fans claiming it is somehow all Mike Scioscia’s fault, and that the front office conveniently has no responsibility in building a team that can make it to the postseason.
- But there are also those who just think a change may be needed just to have a new voice. That’s probably the most reasonable argument. But again, we go back to the positive and disciplined clubhouse Mike runs.
- Any moron can drink a beer, yell at their TV, or type their hate on social media. It takes a real cognitive effort, and experience being within the baseball world, to understand what is really going on in the game. There are many in the industry who praise Mike Scioscia’s methods in the clubhouse. And again, that’s why he’s still there. Whether it translates into a postseason appearance has been up to the front office the whole time. And that’s a whole other discussion.