2019 Angels spring training preview: Starting rotation

first_img Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training on Feb. 13, we are providing breakdowns of how they stand with their roster by position groups. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. Today, the starting rotation:2018 RECAPThe Angels began the season with a six-man rotation, although more precisely it was a five-man rotation with a sixth starter added occasionally. By the end, they could barely piece together any kind of rotation at all. There wasn’t a single starter who remained on the active roster all season. Andrew Heaney came the closest, missing just the first couple weeks. Heaney managed 180 innings with a 4.15 ERA. Tyler Skaggs was having an All-Star-caliber first half, but then his second half was spoiled when he tried to pitch through a groin injury, and he finished with a 4.02 ERA. Jaime Barría and Felix Peña also emerged as competent major league starters. The Angels were getting solid seasons out of Shohei Ohtani and Garrett Richards before both eventually needed Tommy John surgery. Despite all of the injuries and turnover, the Angels managed a 4.34 ERA out of the rotation, which was seventh in the league. Their starters pitched just 805-1/3 innings, which was second-worst in the league. They were ahead of only the Tampa Bay Rays, who often used relievers as “openers.”HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWAlthough the Angels would seemingly have been desperate to add some certainty to their rotation with durable starters, they instead added two who carry with them some health question marks. Matt Harvey (free agent) has been injured and/or ineffective for much of the past three years, but he was mostly healthy last year and the Angels saw signs of improved stuff throughout the season, so they took a chance on a one-year deal. Trevor Cahill (free agent) suffered three separate injuries in 2018, but only one was to the arm and that cost him just 10 days. Those two go into the mix with Heaney, Skaggs and Barría to form the likely starting five, barring injury of course. The Angels are also expected to strategically use a sixth starter from time to time, particularly in stretches with no off days.THE NEXT LAYERThe group from which the Angels can pull extra starters is better than it has been in recent seasons. Peña showed he was capable of being a big league starter at the end of last season. Nick Tropeano has had stints of solid work before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Angels added Dillon Peters (trade from Marlins) and they re-signed Alex Meyer to a minor league deal, after Meyer had missed nearly a season and a half with a shoulder injury. Nate Smith, one of the Angels’ top pitching prospects before his own shoulder injury, is also healthy again. The Angels also should get JC Ramirez back from Tommy John surgery sometime around midseason. Behind them are the Angels’ best two pitching prospects, Griffin Canning and Jose Suarez. Both are expected to pitch in the big leagues sometime this season. They will likely start at Triple-A. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros MOVES THEY COULD MAKEThere are still a few starters left on the market, most notably Dallas Keuchel. The Angels have talked with Keuchel’s agent this winter, although they likely didn’t get too far. As the start of spring training gets closer, if Keuchel’s price drops, perhaps the Angels jump back in. The Angels could also go for free agent Gio Gonzalez, one of baseball’s most durable starters in recent years. Finally, the Yankees still haven’t traded Sonny Gray, who many observers figure could be due for a bounce-back season if he gets out of Yankee Stadium.Related Articlescenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone last_img

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