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Where the Angels’ Starting Rotation Stands

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The Angels rotation has been decimated by tragedy, injuries, and underperformance. The rotation heading in to spring training was expected to feature LHP Andrew Heaney, LHP Tyler Skaggs, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Trevor Cahill, and the 5th spot featuring either RHP Jaime Barria or RHP Felix Pena.

Andrew Heaney ended up missing some time due to an injury and the Angels acquired RHP Chris Stratton from the San Francisco Giants to take his spot in the rotation. Stratton struggled during his time with the Angels and ended up being traded the Pittsburgh Pirates in May.

Felix Pena ended up securing that last spot in the rotation over Jaime Barria and is currently the only one that is still active in the rotation. Andrew Heaney, who had spent time on the Injured List through the first 2 months of the season was just placed on the IL on July, 20th with left shoulder inflammation just 1 day after the Angels DFA’d Matt Harvey who had been struggling since his return from the IL. The Angels had signed Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill in the off-season to 1-year deals in hopes that they could provide some quality innings for their rotation, but they both have struggled and that led to Harvey being DFA’d and Cahill being moved to the bullpen in early-June. The Angels have also been missing the leader of their rotation in Tyler Skaggs who tragically passed away on July 1st. Skaggs currently leads the Angels in Starts (15) and is tied for Wins (7) with Felix Pena as of July 22nd.

The Angels current rotation consists
of: Felix Pena, Jaime Barria, RHP Griffin Canning, and LHP Dillion Peters.

EDIT: Dillion Peters is no longer with the big league club as he was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday, July 23rd.

Felix Pena has the most service time in the big leagues out of those four and makes most of his starts with an opener in front of him. Griffin Canning is in his 2nd professional career in baseball and is likely to be on some type of innings limit, but due to the uncertainty of the rotation, it is hard to tell what the Angels will do with him. Jaime Barria, who lead the Angels in Wins(10) last season has struggled this season with both the big league club and in Triple-A. Dillion Peters has made 4 appearances with the big league club after being acquired in the off-season in a trade with the Miami Marlins. Peters pitched in Andrew Heaney’s spot in the rotation on July 21st versus the Seattle Mariners and pitched 5 shutout innings.

The Angels have 3 guys in their organization that has made starts in the big leagues and could quite possibly join the rotation. The Angels currently have two of them on their 40-man roster. The two guys that they have on their 40-man roster are RHP Nick Tropeano and LHP Jose Suarez. Nick Tropeano, had struggled in his two appearances in the big leagues this season but has the most service time out of the current starters that the Angels have. Tropeano has pitched a total of 212.1 innings with a 4.32 ERA between his time with the Astros (2014) and Angels (2015-2019). Jose Suarez is another rookie the Angels have and has pitched in 7 games this season but has struggled to get deep into games. Suarez was up with the big league club but had been optioned due to injuries that the team had sustained.

The Angels also have RHP Parker Bridwell in Triple-A who was a big part of the Angels 2017 season. Bridwell went 10-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 121 innings in 21 games/20 games started that year. He, unfortunately, did not have much success in 2018 as he was hit hard in the short amount of time he did pitch for the big league club. He pitched in 5 games that included 1 start and had an ERA of 17.55 through 6.2 innings and has not had much success in Triple-A the past two seasons either.

The Angels do not have many experienced starters and could look to trade for a starter before the trade deadline on July 31st, there are many starting pitchers that are believed to be available such as RHP Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays, LHP Matt Boyd of the Detroit Tigers, and LHP Mike Minor of the Texas Rangers to name a few.

The Angels could have a difficult time trying to trade for a starter since there are plenty of teams trying to trade for a starting pitcher.

Featured Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images
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