Major League Baseball will have its Opening Day on March 28, 2019. The Angels will start their season in Oakland against the Athletics at 1:07 PM Pacific.
The Angels roster is almost set with just about 24 guys confirmed and with an injury to one of the Angels OF’s there is some uncertainty of who the Angels will add to the roster.
Jonathan Lucroy, Kevan Smith
Lucroy is expected to be the everyday starting catcher, while Smith will be the back up catcher.
Albert Pujols, Justin Bour
Bour is expected to handle the majority of the First Base duties while Pujols is at DH until Shohei Ohtani comes back off of the Injured List. When Ohtani comes back Bour and Pujols are expected to split time at the 1B position.
Andrelton Simmons is one of the most underrated players in Major League Baseball and is expected to hold down the fort in the infield at Shortstop.
Zack Cozart, David Fletcher, Tommy La Stella
Cozart is expected to be the starting 3B and Fletcher at 2B. La Stella is expected to be the utility man off of the bench and can play all of the infield spots with the exception of shortstop. Cozart can play 2B, 3B, and SS. Fletcher has played all over the field from 2B,3B,SS,RF,and LF and with Justin Upton out he could see some time in the outfield.
Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun
Peter Bourjos will make his return to the Angels roster after being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in November of 2013. Bourjos, will likely start in Left Field until Justin Upton makes his return from the Injured List. Mike Trout, known as one of the best players in Baseball just signed the biggest contract in all of professional sports. Trout, will look to add on to what is more than likely a Hall of Fame career. Kole Calhoun will man Right Field and will look to turn in a quality season in what could be his contract year as the Angels hold a club option for him next season.
Trevor Cahill, Matt Harvey, Tyler Skaggs, Felix Pena, Chris Stratton
Trevor Cahill is scheduled to be the Opening Day starter against his former team the Oakland Athletics. Matt Harvey is looking to bounce back to being a dominant starter after having some tough luck with injuries. Tyler Skaggs is also looking to add on to the first half of last season in which he showed he was capable of being a dominant pitcher as he pitched to an ERA slightly above 2.50. Felix Pena had been converted into a starter by the Angels last season and was impressive as he started for the first time in the big leagues. Pena, was impressive throughout spring training and in his last start he struck out 9 batters in 3.1 innings pitched.
The newly acquired Chris Stratton was acquired on March 25th from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for LHP Williams Jerez. Stratton, is out of options and in order for him to make the rotation the Angels sent down RHP Jaime Barria to Triple-A.
Cam Bedrosian, Cody Allen, Hansel Robles, Justin Anderson, Luke Bard, Luis Garcia, Noe Ramirez, and Ty Buttrey
The bullpen has a lot of swing and miss stuff and Cam Bedrosian has added a new pitch to his repertoire which is a splitter. Cody Allen is expected to be the Angels closer and has earned 149 saves in his career with the Cleveland Indians. Hansel Robles started to find his groove late last season with the Angels and his velocity increased to 100 mph on his fastball.
Justin Anderson pitched well in his rookie year but walks were an issue as he would sometime lose command of his dominant slider. Anderson, is a weapon for the Angels in the back end of the bullpen.
Luke Bard now in his second stint with the Angels is well liked for his spin rate on his pitches. Bard, pitched pretty well for the Angels last season with the exception of one outing. Luis Garcia is another guy with swing and miss stuff and reaches up to 100 mph on his fastball. Garcia, was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for longtime Angels pitcher Jose Alvarez. Noe Ramirez has a durable arm and does not throw the hardest but strikes guys out on his off-speed pitches.
Ty Buttrey much like Justin Anderson throws hard and was impressive during his time with the Angels last season. Buttrey, proved he can pitch in big situations and is expected to be the main set-up man for Closer Cody Allen.
25th Roster Spot
There is some speculation that the Angels might look to add someone outside of the organization to add to the roster, but there are a few guys that could make the Opening Day roster that are in the organization already. There are guys that could make the team such as 3B Taylor Ward, 2B Luis Rengifo or OF Cesar Puello. If Ward or Rengifo make the team that would mean that Fletcher would likely get starts in the OF and how much the Angels want him to play there often is unknown at this point.
UPDATE: The Angels claimed left handed hitting Outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Kansas City Royals and he appears to be the 25th man. Goodwin, has played in three big league seasons with the Washington Nationals and Kansas City Royals.
The Angels have quite a few guys who will be starting the season on the Injured List and some should be back relatively quick.
RHP Taylor Cole is currently out with a sore right shoulder and just recently started throwing again.
LHP Andrew Heaney has been sidelined with left elbow inflammation for the second time in the past month and started throwing again within the past two weeks.
OF Michael Hermosillo is recovering from a sports hernia surgery and his status is unknown at this point.
RHP Keynan Middleton is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is slated to start throwing soon. He is expected to be back sometime around mid-July to late-July.
RHP J.C. Ramirez is recovering from Tommy John surgery and has started throwing off of a mound. He is expected back sometime between June and July.
RHP Nick Tropeano missed all of spring training due to a setback with his shoulder and is expected to be ready to pitch in the big leagues in late-April.
OF Justin Upton has been diagnosed with Turf Toe after running into the wall in Sunday night’s game versus the Dodgers. His timeline is unknown at this point.
RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected to pitch this season. He will however hit this season and is expected to take batting practice on the field sometime this week. Ohtani, is expected to be ready to DH in early-May.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Ben Margot