Going into the 2022 season, it has been an eight-year-long drought since the Angels last made the playoffs. Since that playoff appearance, there have been a changes in the front office, coaching staff, and roster. Mike Trout is the only significant piece left. With a great season, 2022 can be the year that ends the playoff drought.
Looking Back at the 2014 Angels
The 2014 Angels roster was veteran-heavy from top to bottom. Mike Scioscia was the manager of the club, while Jerry Dipoto ran the front office. The Angels had a 98-64 record, resulting in a first-place finish in the American League West.
The starting lineup included stars like Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Howie Kendrick. They had a top ten ranking offense in stats including batting average, home runs, on-base percentage, and runs batted in. Their pitching staff was led by veteran pitchers Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson with break-out performances from Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker. They were in the middle of the pack in the league with a 3.58 earned run average.
Overall, the 2014 Angels were put together for a playoff run. The veterans they had on the team all had previous playoff experience in the past. How did this team get shut down in the playoffs? The buzz saw of the hot Kansas City Royals came into town and swept the Angels. The lack of timely hitting did not help.
Similarities between Both Teams
Between these two teams, there are a couple of similarities that bode well for the Angels this season. The main one is that both starting lineups are star-studded. In 2014 the Angels had all-stars in Trout, Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Howie Kendrick. They all had breakout seasons which helped lead the Halos to the playoffs.
In 2022, the lineup is also star-studded, with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. These three players will hopefully stay fully healthy throughout the season and put up huge offensive numbers. And it is still possible that the Angels can make some additions after the lockout is over and free agency can continue.
The Glaring Difference between Both Teams
Between these two teams, the glaring difference is the pitching and youth. As mentioned above the Angels roster was veteran-heavy with a lot of playoff experience. The 2022 roster has a lot of young players on its roster with minimal playoff experience with Trout and Rendon being the only two with any playoff experience. The lineup is young averaging 27 years old. With limited experience, it is one of the extreme differences between the two teams.
Another significant difference is the pitching staff between the two teams. The 2015 Angels staff was led by veterans’ starters that the team knew what they were getting from them. In this upcoming season, there are a lot of unknowns with the staff. The true known is that Shohei Ohtani is their ace. We know that Noah Syndergaard can be a great starter and can be even considered an ace as well. However, coming off Tommy John surgery it is unknown if it will be the same Syndergaard. After those two there is a lot of unknowns within the starting rotation. Overall, there is a lot of promise for this 2022 Angels team, but there are still a lot of unknowns with the Angels to say they are a sure-fire playoff team.
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