The help wanted sign still hasn't gone up.
Even with his team off to its worst start in 20 years, Angels General Manager Tony Reagins on Friday said he was confident that the three-time defending American League West champions could turn things around without a roster overhaul.
"It's concerning when you're not playing well, but we believe the players we have assembled have the capability to play at a much higher level," Reagins said. "We have to get guys into their games, and that hasn't happened yet."
The Angels entered Friday's game against Oakland at Angel Stadium a season-worst six games under .500 and a season-high 51/2 games behind division-leading Texas. Their pitching and hitting have been equally dreadful, with their 4.96 earned-run average ranking next to last in the AL and their .249 batting average tied with Cleveland for 10th in the league.
"Every aspect of our game needs to improve," Reagins said. "These guys, for the most part, the majority have strong track records. Right now we're just not getting it done, but we feel good about them."
Reagins said it was too early to assess the possibility of a trade, but he acknowledged having "a couple of" conversations with other general managers about other players.
"Right now I'm not looking to make wholesale changes to this club," he said. "We're looking to get the guys that we have here to play the way they're capable of. If we do that, we'll be fine."
Running out of time?
Third baseman Brandon Wood was back in the lineup after a two-day break. But with practically their entire lineup stuck in a season-long funk, how long can the Angels continue to play someone hitting well below .200?
"The fact that there are so many guys that are struggling, yeah, you would try to look to insert a little more offense at times," Manager Mike Scioscia said.
But Scioscia said Wood's strong defense would keep him in the lineup for now, particularly with Maicer Izturis sidelined by inflammation in his right shoulder. Wood will continue to play, Scioscia said, "until we think he's moving so far in the wrong direction that it's going to be tough for him to get out of it, and then we'll give him some time off or he starts to improve."
Designated hitter Hideki Matsui, dropped to No. 6 in the batting order for the first time this year as part of Scioscia's lineup overhaul, didn't seem to mind the move.
After all, he said through an interpreter, that's where he hit on the way to becoming most valuable player of the 2009 World Series.
Before Friday's game, in which he hit a three-run homer, Matsui hadn't been particularly useful for the Angels recently, hitting .107 in his last 16 games. Before Friday, he had two RBIs this month and no extra-base hits since a home run against Detroit on April 22.
"The results aren't there," he said before the game, "so in that sense it's obvious that I would be lower down in the lineup."