Ron Washington believes Angels can follow a path of improvement he’s seen before – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM — It’s easy for skeptics to roll their eyes as Ron Washington stands atop this rubble of an Angels season and proclaims that better days are ahead.

His experience is why he sounds so confident.

“I’ve been in this situation before,” he said.

Each of the four times that Washington joined a major league staff – with the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and twice with the Oakland A’s – the team was lousy when he arrived, but improved significantly within a few years.

Washington’s first year with the A’s was 1996. Although that team only lost 86 games, they fell to 97 by the next season. The A’s contended in 1999 and remained consistent winners through the end of his time there in 2006.

The 2007 Rangers started out 19-35 on their way to an 87-loss season. They had a winning record by 2009 and became annual contenders in 2010, including two straight pennants.

Washington returned to coach third base for the A’s in 2015-16. They lost at least 93 games both of those seasons, but went to the playoffs three years in a row, from 2018-20.

Washington’s first year in Atlanta was 2017, and that Braves team started 11-20 on its way to 90 losses. The next season they won 90, starting a streak of six straight postseason appearances. The Braves won the 2021 World Series.

Whether anyone believes the Angels will be on a similar trajectory, Washington says his current team is building.

“You guys just don’t see the little bitty increments in growth that these guys are having,” Washington said. “Sometimes it takes a while for them to figure it out. Because all of a sudden you hit a situation in the ballgame where the first five or six innings they were so relaxed, and then that same situation hits in the seventh inning when something has to be made, all of a sudden something kicks in and they have to work their way through that.

“I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing. I’m like you guys. I want to see us win more ballgames. But you have to learn to do that. And this group I have, they are learning how to win. … At some point, I do believe it’s gonna start kicking in. I have no doubt about it.”


The Angels are planning on infielder Luis Rengifo being activated on Friday. Rengifo has been out with a virus. He was hitting .330 with an .839 OPS before he went on the injured list.

Infielder Miguel Sanó, who has been out with knee inflammation, is headed to Arizona to see some live pitching at the Angels’ spring training complex. Sanó said he’s expecting to be activated sometime during the upcoming trip to Texas and Houston.

“It’s going to be nice when we can get those power bats back to our lineup,” Washington said.


A day after Washington criticized Luis Guillorme for his failure to get down on a bunt on a suicide squeeze, Washington was given the opportunity to “clarify” his decision or any of his postgame comments. “There’s no clarification of what I saw,” Washington said. “Everybody here saw what I saw. I made a comment. That’s it.” …

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