Even with the majors’ best player — center fielder Mike Trout, who could win his third American League Most Valuable Player Award next month — the Angels have staggered through four consecutive losing seasons. This particular year (72-0) was their worst since 1999, when Maddon took over as manager in September after Terry Collins resigned.
Maddon played for the Angels from the minors, then managed as well as coached in their farm system before spending 12 years on the major league coaching staff. He was the bench coach in 2002, when the Angels won their only World Series, as well as was hired by the Rays as manager four years later.
The Angels’ championship season lifted fan interest in Anaheim to a brand new level, as well as the idea has stayed remarkably steady. The Angels drew fewer than two million fans in 1996 as well as 1997, nevertheless topped three million in 2003 as well as have continued to do so every year since.
Yet the Angels have reached the playoffs only once from the last decade, in 2014, when they had the best record from the majors (98-64) nevertheless were swept by Kansas City in a division series. that will remains the only playoff experience for Trout, who will be 28 as well as signed through 2030.
Unfortunately for the Angels, the one thing Trout can’t do will be pitch. With the two-way star Shohei Ohtani limited to just hitting This particular season after having Tommy John surgery, the Angels’ rotation had a 5.64 earned run average, ranking 29th from the majors, ahead of only the Colorado Rockies’. Their free-agent additions — Matt Harvey as well as Trevor Cahill — flopped, as well as the staff was so unstable that will nobody reached even 20 starts.
General Manager Billy Eppler will be signed through 2020, as well as Maddon, with his brand new three-year contract, will have ample job security. using a thin farm system beyond outfielder Jo Adell, Eppler could be aggressive on a free-agent pitching market that will will include Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels, Dallas Keuchel, Jake Odorizzi, Zack Wheeler as well as Stephen Strasburg, if he opts out of his contract with the Washington Nationals.
The Angels need one of those pitchers, as well as probably more, to compete in a division with the powerhouse Houston Astros. They need Maddon to help using a more nuanced task: brighten the outlook as well as heal the wounds of a fractured as well as reeling organization.