MLB News

Angels manager Ron Washington calls team meeting two games into 2024 season after consecutive trouncings

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Life without Shohei Ohtani is off to an inauspicious start for the Los Angeles Angels. Not only have they lost by a combined 17 runs in two games, but new manager Ron Washington felt it was worthwhile to call a team meeting following Saturday’s drubbing.

“Just wanted to let them know they’ve played only two games and we can’t get off track,” Washington said, according to ESPN. “Our focus is on a 162-game championship season. Not two games. The two games haven’t gone like we wanted, but we just got to make certain that we come to the ballpark ready to go.”

Generally, these kinds of meetings are called when a team enters a tailspin. Those are often reserved for later parts in the season, however, and not the first weekend of the year. Washington, hired over the winter to replace Phil Nevin, must’ve felt he had no choice after consecutive blowout losses: 11-3 on Opening Day and 13-4 on Saturday.

Regardless, Washington is correct that there’s a long year ahead and that the Angels shouldn’t lose focus. At the same time, it seems fair to note that the Angels’ biggest problem is a lack of talent. They haven’t finished above .500 since 2015 — that despite employing two of the sport’s best players, Ohtani and Mike Trout, simultaneously for six seasons.

The Angels didn’t do much to improve their roster over the offseason, even after losing Ohtani to the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency. Most of their additions were to their bullpen, with veteran outfielder Aaron Hicks and slugger Miguel Sanó (who did not play in the majors in 2023) serving as the lone newcomers on the position player side of things. 

Predictably, the Angels are not projected to be a competitive team. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA forecast model, for one, has them pegged for just 72 victories. If we had to guess, this won’t be the last team meeting that Washington feels compelled to call this season.

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