Slow start becoming trend for Angels

Scioscia's club opens 6-8 for third consecutive season

Slow start becoming trend for Angels

CHICAGO -- The Angels entered their 15th game Wednesday with six wins and eight losses, which should sound familiar. They've started off 6-8 in three consecutive years and have gone five straight seasons without an above-.500 record through their first 14 games.

Mike Scioscia's teams have a hard time getting off to solid starts in recent years, no matter if they have a good spring or a bad spring or something in between.

Since 2012, the Angels have the fifth-worst winning percentage in March and April, claiming victories only 42.9 percent of the time. Only the Twins, Astros, Padres and Marlins -- four teams with respective stretches of rebuilding -- have done worse.

Said Scioscia: "It's something we've looked into."

Scioscia and his staff have concluded that a major reason, though certainly not the only one, for some of the slow starts can be traced back to early bullpen ineffectiveness. That has been the case this year, but the offense has also been stagnant. It's odd, because those were the two areas that offered up the most encouraging signs throughout Spring Training.

"There's a lot of ways you can try to articulate it, but Spring Training is Spring Training," Scioscia said. "The season is the season. I know some years we got off to decent starts we had great springs. Some years we got off to decent starts and had rough springs. The litmus test is when you start the season."

The Angels have finished April at or below .500 in 10 of Scioscia's first 16 years as manager. One of those years, 2002, ended with a World Series trophy. Another one, 2009, finished with 97 wins. But the other eight resulted in the Angels missing out on the playoffs.

Scioscia is confident that his relievers will settle in, but he's still waiting on the offense to implement some of the aggressive baserunning and situational hitting he looked forward to seeing when the season began.

The Angels simply haven't had enough baserunners.

"It's early yet," Scioscia said. "You don't want to overreact to a small group of games, but there's no doubt you always have an if-then and you always have to prepare for an if-then. We're really confident we're going to continue to improve as we get into this schedule."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.