* Fred Haney recently cited the Angels’ desperate need for consistent hitting. What he meant was hitting, period. While winning 76 games and losing 86, the Angels scored only 569 runs, second lowest in the junior circuit, for an average of 3.5 runs per game. In an area famed for its movie-land divorces, the Angels’ rotation could justifiably sue for non-support. Dean Chance, Fred Newman, Marcelino Lopez and George Brunet, representing the Angels’ rotation, all posted an ERA under 3.00 yet half of the quartet had losing records. Chance (15-9) and Brunet (12-9) each receive support over 4 runs per start, but the Seraphs averaged only 3.3 runs for each Newman start. Lopez, a contender for Rookie of the Year honors, received an anemic 2.4 runs per start which explains how a starter with a 2.72 ERA could have a losing record. A pulled rib muscle costs Lopez at least three starts, and an opportunity to even his record.
Even Jim McGlothlin, a 22-year-old righthander who was 14-8 at Seattle (PCL) and figures to win an Angel berth next season, was bit by the Californians’ lack of bite. During 3 late-season starts, he pitched well yet could not earn a win as the Angels scored only seven runs for him. “Certainly,” said Manager Bill Rigney, “a pitcher’s thinking is affected when he realizes his team will score only a couple of runs. He becomes too fine, too perfect and instead his control suffers.”
* Despite the offensive gloom, one player broke out in 1965: shortstop Jim Fregosi. “If we can come up with some punch this winter, you’ll see Fregosi put it all together in ’66,” said Rigney. Fregosi will tell you that 1965, in a number of ways, was his best year. He did things in the field he had never accomplished before and the exodus from the dense and distant Chavez Ravine should gloss his offensive marks next year. Fregosi led the team in games (161), RBI’s (80), and total bases (253).
* For the third time since the Angels joined Joe Cronin’s society, Albie Pearson won the club batting title. It remains probably, however, that in the new surroundings, the Angels will seek a new image in the form of Rick Reichardt (22 years old), Dick Simpson (21), and Spanky Kirkpatrick (20). It has been learned that outfielder Willie Smith, who was name to the All-Star Game after a torrid first half, has been placed on the trading block. Most interested at the moment is Kansas City, which is dangling John Wyatt or Jose Santiago, a pitcher currently in the PCL, and subject to the draft, as bait. Smith lost playing time when Reichardt and Kirkpatrick were recalled in September, and batting only .254 in 189 post-All Star at-bats.
* Bobby Knoop, a .216 hitter last season, had a chance to retire as a .270 hitter this season by bowing out of the final game at Minnesota early. He asked to remain in the lineup and concluded 1965 activity wiht a .269 mark. He tied Jose Cardenal for the club lead with 25 doubles. While driving n 46 runs and hitting ten homers, 22-year-old Paul Schaal batted .226. However after the All-Star Break, Schaal’s batting average was a respectable .274. “He can make the same jump Knoop did. Confidence will make a big difference,” said Rigney.