The Los Angeles Angels have proven that Spring Training is much more than just a warm up for the regular season. The way a team prepares can make or break them in the dog days of summer. Obviously, the Angels have experienced a unique situation the last two spring’s, which means they will have to make some adjustments in 2014.
“We’ve looked at every cross-section you can,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, according to Angels.com “There were some years when we went out there and just had miraculous Spring Trainings. I mean, you just couldn’t play any better than we have on some Spring Trainings. Guys were swinging the bats well, pitchers were where we needed to be, and at the start of the season, you started to see the bumps in the road. Last year was a terrible Spring Training that carried over into a very, very difficult start. We’ve looked at a lot of the things that we do.”
One of those things is bringing in a different hitting coach to help ease those bumps. There is no question Don Baylor is going to have an impact on the talented sluggers. Los Angeles is just hoping that the impact is a positive one.
“My thing is getting out of the gate,” Baylor told Angels.com. “That’s what I really like. Mike and I have talked about it a few times already — How do we do that? How do we approach Spring Training? — and just kind of take it from there.”
The Angels have some of the most talented sluggers in the business. For that reason, there really is no excuse for the dismal performance the past two seasons. The fact is the coaches must put together a program that truly challenges Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Mike Trumbo, Mike Trout and others to the point where it will carry over into the regular season.
The days of slow starts must be over if Los Angeles wants to carry their own weight at the top of the AL West division. Busting out of the gate and never looking back is clearly the only way the offense will succeed.