The Angels have built something that can’t be measured on a stat sheet or even by Statcast.
In a season where the Angels’ first five wins to start the year have been come-from-behind victories, the team’s chemistry that has been fostered is something that excites manager Joe Maddon.
“The whole team has been very entertaining and interesting to watch,” Maddon said. “The dugout vibe is tremendous.”
The Angels have had a knack for coming back late in games and have scored nine runs in the eighth inning, the most in the Majors heading into Friday.
The latest comeback came in an extra-inning road win against the Blue Jays on Thursday.
In the win, the Angels received strong bullpen performances from closer Raisel Iglesias and Junior Guerra, who ended the 10th inning by striking out Bo Bichette with a runner on second base.
“How about Junior with that emotion on that strike three? That was really fun to watch,” Maddon said.
Maddon credits the team chemistry to the makeup of his club, the additions of veteran players, including offseason acquisitions including José Iglesias, Dexter Fowler and Kurt Suzuki.
Iglesias said the bond within the team goes beyond the box score.
“Chemistry is something that doesn’t show up on a computer or anything that shows up in the numbers,” José Iglesias said in Spanish. “But it’s something that is extremely important. It’s ridiculously important.”
Iglesias said building this chemistry was easy at the start of Spring Training. He added that the team’s success is due to the positive vibes inside the clubhouse.
“Independent from the talent on the field, when there is an energy of upstanding people, I think everything is fluid,” Iglesias said in Spanish. “We have a group of really good people and that is showing off on the field.”
Ramos, Peña and Ramirez progressing well
AJ Ramos and Noé Ramirez were signed by the Angels late in spring, but were immediately added to the Opening Day roster. Both Ramos and Ramirez have been progressing well while playing in alternate site games.
“They’re all doing well,” Maddon said. “They’ve all pitched, they’re all doing fine. There’s no issues with any of them, so it’s a nice depth situation for us.”
Ramos had a 2.78 ERA in a six-year run with the Marlins; Ramirez was traded by the Angels to the Reds in a deal that brought Raisel Iglesias to Anaheim, but was then released by the Reds prior to the start of the season.
Maddon also said Félix Peña has also been progressing well in his return from injury. The Angels’ reliever was sidelined by a hamstring injury midway through Spring Training.