Baylor expresses frustration at offense

Baylor expresses frustration at offense

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels' offense showed some very encouraging signs from June 27 to July 22, averaging 5.65 runs per game, the second most in the Major Leagues, while winning 17 out of 20. Since then, though, it has morphed back into the sluggish unit that has struggled for the majority of this season, a trio of additions doing little to help.

Heading into Sunday's series finale at Kauffman Stadium, the Angels were last in the Majors in runs per game (3.0) and slugging percentage (.329) for the month of August while sporting baseball's third-lowest batting average (.221) and fifth-lowest on-base percentage (.287).

"We just haven't put together good innings," hitting coach Don Baylor said. "There was a while where we were putting together early runs. We went on a streak like that, then all of a sudden, we stopped doing that. We've had the same lineup, pretty much, except we've added a couple guys. Sometimes that clicks right away, and sometimes it doesn't."

The Angels added three outfielders -- David Murphy, David DeJesus and Shane Victorino -- before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, giving themselves a platoon in left field and designated hitter. The Angels have now deployed 10 left fielders this season -- Josh Hamilton not included -- and they've combined to post the second-lowest OPS in the Majors.

DeJesus, now getting most of the playing time in left, entered Sunday 4-for-37 with the Angels.

"That's the frustrating part," Baylor said. "No one has taken that job and said, 'I want it, it's mine, I'm going to hit every day.' We haven't had that yet."

The Angels also haven't had many clutch hits. They went 9-for-60 with runners in scoring position in the first six of this seven-game road trip and now sport a .249 batting average in those situations this season, ranked 20th in the Majors.

"They want to do too much," Baylor said. "Everybody knows the streak that we're on right now, and everybody wants to do it. Guys are swinging at pitches they maybe wouldn't normally swing at. That's the frustrating part, because there's some guys that have driven in runs before but they're just tight."

Worth noting

• Royals DH Kendrys Morales, who entered Sunday with a .289/.349/.459 slash line, said the Angels never showed "any interest at all" after the 2012 season. "But it's a business," he added. "Maybe I just wasn't what they needed at the time." Morales wasn't surprised, because Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo were both on the team then.

• Manager Mike Scioscia will "look at" potentially giving the right-handed-hitting C.J. Cron some starts against right-handers, saying, "I think our best look against right-handers, both defensively and offensively, is to have DeJesus in left field [and Murphy at DH], but there will definitely be games where we'll give C.J. a chance to swing it."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.