5 Things We've Learned About the Los Angeles Angels Midway Through 2014

By Bob Garcia IV

Los Angeles Angels: 5 Things We've Learned Midway Through 2014

Mike Trout Josh Hamilton
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The first half of the 2014 season for the Los Angeles Angels has been a drastic turnaround from a year ago when the team was floundering in a midst of yet another disappointing campaign. The Angels at this point in time hold the top Wild Card spot and also are just four games back in the AL West. Here are five things we have learned about the Halos so far this season.

5. Bullpen Still An Issue

Michael Kohn
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Bullpen Still an Issue

Michael Kohn
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This past offseason the Angels made it a priority to address their bullpen that ranked among the league's worst in 2013. Things do not appear to have improved through 66 games this season as evident by their 24th ranking in ERA (4.38), 19th in BAA (.242) and having allowed the third most home runs (28). Although there is a lot of baseball yet to be played, the Halos must work to this fix issue pronto.

4. Garrett Richards Is Their Best Pitcher

Garrett Richards
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

4. Garrett Richards Is Their Best Pitcher

Garrett Richards
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the regular season, the assumption was that Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson would lead the starting rotation, but it has been quite the opposite. Richards, in his first experience as a full-time starter, leads the team in wins (8), ERA (2.76), strikeouts (99) and WHIP (1.12). The 26-year-old has far exceeded any expectations set for him and has quietly put his name in the race for the AL Cy Young award.

3. Angels Play better at Home

Angels
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

3. Angels Play better at Home

Angels
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Halos are off to a drastically better start this season, and a big part of that has been their ability to take care of business at home. They currently hold the league's best home record at 26-14 and are coming off an impressive 6-0 homestand this past week. However, the Angels have struggled on the road with an 18-19 record away from Anaheim.

2. The Machine is Back

Albert Pujols
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Machine is Back

Albert Pujols
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a disappointing 2013 season that saw him miss the last two months due to injury, it comes as no surprise that the former three-time NL MVP has bounced back this season. Despite batting .262, Pujols has 16 home runs and 46 RBIs which puts him on pace for 34 home runs and 97 RBIs for the season. He may not be the same player he was three seasons ago, but his turnaround has been a major reason why the Halos have had much success in 2014.

1. Ernesto Frieri is Not the Answer at Closer

Ernesto Frieri
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ernesto Frieri is Not the Answer at Closer

Ernesto Frieri
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a season where he had his highest ERA in his career, it would be logical to think that Frieri would be in line for a much better year. That has not been the case as Frieri has struggled with a 6.39 ERA and does not appear to be getting out of his pitching struggles anytime soon. This may push the Halos to acquire a closer in the trade market and find a solution to a problem that has persisted over the last two years.

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