2017 Los Angeles Angels
2017 Los Angeles Angels / Franchise: Los Angeles Angels / BR Team Page
Managed by Mike Scioscia
The 2017 Los Angeles Angels did not come into the season with particularly high hopes, in spite of having the best player in baseball, CF Mike Trout, in their regular line-up. Uncertainties about the pitching staff and question marks at various other positions meant that most observers placed them in fourth-place in pre-season prognostications. They had dropped the "of Anaheim" part of their name that season, as the lease contracted with the city of Anaheim, CA for what was then called "Angel Stadium of Anaheim", which obligated the team to have "Anaheim" in its name, had run out, and the controversial clause was no longer included in the new lease. Thus, the team reverted to its original name dating back to the expansion of 1961 - although most people had been calling them that for years already.
Trout got off to another great season, winning American League Player of the Month honors in April, but when he went down for six weeks on May 28th because of a sprained thumb, most observers were ready to close the book on the team's season. Indeed, in spite of having missed a whole month, he was still the team's lone representative to the 2017 All-Star Game, no one having really stepped up in his absence. But while the Houston Astros were running away with the division title, the Angels weer able to hang around .500, being two games below .500 at the break, and 51-55 at the end of July. They then got hot in August, with Trout back in the line-up and as productive as ever, going 18-10 to find their way back into the race for a wild card spot. On August 31st, they decided to go all in in the hope of returning to the postseason, acquiring OF Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers and 2B Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves in separate trades, solidifying two of the weakest spots in the line-up. They al;so gave up OF Cameron Maybin in the shuffle, and while he was hitting only .235 at the time, he had played very well defensively, especially while filling in in centerfield for the injured Trout, and was tied for the American League lead in stolen bases with 29.
On September 4th, the Angels set an American League record by using 12 pitchers in an 11-9 win over the Oakland Athletics that required 11 innings. The Angels took a two-run lead in the 11th on a triple by Kole Calhoun, but then needed three pitchers to complete the bottom of the frame, with Keynan Middleton getting the save while Fernando Salas, who pitched the 10th, received credit for the win. The previous mark of 11 had been done four times, last in 2013, and three of L.A.'s pitchers did not record an out. The major league mark of 13 had been set by the 2015 Colorado Rockies, in a 16-inning game. The Angels were in sole possession of the AL record for only a day, as on September 5th, the Boston Red Sox also used 12 pitchers in a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, that game lasting 19 innings.
Awards and Honors
- AL All-Star: Mike Trout
- AL Gold Glove Winner: Martin Maldonado (C) and Andrelton Simmons (SS)
- AL Silver Slugger Award: Justin Upton (OF)
- Gabe Lacques: "Mike Trout, Angels have playoff hopes in reach", USA Today Sports, August 16, 2017.