Angels spring training primer: Starting rotation
As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training Feb. 14, we are providing a breakdown of how they stand with their roster. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. Today, the starting rotation:
For the second consecutive season, the Angels rotation was ravaged by injuries. Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney and Matt Shoemaker — arguably their four most talented starters — all missed significant chunks of the season. In Heaney’s case, it should be noted, the fact that he pitched at all after having Tommy John surgery in 2016 was an unexpected positive. Nonetheless, the Angels’ starters posted a 4.38 ERA, which was sixth in the league. JC Ramirez and Parker Bridwell were two of the pleasant surprises that helped keep them afloat.
HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOW
The Angels added one of the top starting pitchers on the market, winning the sweepstakes for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani (minor league deal). Ohtani has the stuff to be an ace, but he’s only 23 and has never pitched in the majors, so the Angels will try not to heap too much pressure on him. Part of that is the likely decision to go with some form of a six-man rotation, although off days could allow them to still use five at times. The Angels are hoping the extra rest also helps keep the other pitchers healthy. Expect Richards, Heaney, Skaggs and Shoemaker to join Ohtani in the rotation, with some combination of Ramirez (who can also pitch out of the bullpen), Bridwell, Nick Tropeano and prospect Jaime Barria filling in the blanks. It is a rotation full of potential. Of the seven pitchers who have pitched in the big leagues, all of them have been good in the majors for months […]