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The Angels fail to make the playoffs despite Mike Trout, again

Monday's Say Hey, Baseball includes another season of Trout without the playoffs, the last Red Sox game for Don Orsillo, and some early playoff roster announcements. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Mike Trout has been in the majors for four full seasons now. Despite being MVP-worthy in all four of them, despite putting up an age-20 through age-23 stretch that hasn't been seen since the days of Ted Williams, despite a hefty payroll and Albert Pujols and a strong base of homegrown talent, the Angels have only managed to make the playoffs during one of them. They have finished in third place in the AL West in the other three seasons, with 89, 78, and 85 wins, and were only that close because of Trout: Trout's wins above replacement, while not a direct comparison for actual wins, have come in at 11, 9, 8 and 9 the last four years.

The offense was below-average this season, and the Halos' ERA+ was only better than that of the Mariners and Tigers. That last bit isn't a shock, as the only time the Angels' pitching has been any good under Trout was in 2014, when they won the AL West on the backs of unexpected performances from Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker that were not repeated -- even then, their overall pitching was just a little better than average. The offense that has kept them on the cusp of relevancy during Trout's time in the majors is what failed them in 2015, though: this summer was the first with Trout where Los Angeles didn't finish in the top-three in the AL in OPS+, instead finishing 10th.

Maybe they'll be able to finally add the complementary pieces that will help them take advantage of Trout, who is in the process of becoming historically relevant. If they do, it will be thanks to new general manager Billy Eppler, whom the Halos pried from the front office of the Yankees. Of course, Eppler will need owner Arte Moreno to stop meddling, and he'll need manager Mike Scioscia to listen: Jerry Dipoto was a promising GM candidate when he took over the Angels, too, and despite the presence of Trout, he could never quite get it done, maybe thanks to all that other noise.