Garrett Richards is set to be the Angels new ace.

Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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With C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver both dealing with injuries that could likely keep them off the mound long term, its time for the Los Angeles Angels to elect a new ace to focus on take the reigns in this 2016 season. While the Angels have talent in the rotation and well as the bullpen, it’s clear they need a new ace to take the mound against the more experienced competition. With the very first series being against the Cubs, manager Mike Sciosica has some serious retooling to do in order to get the starting rotation set and ready for the opening series.

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If you recall Weaver has stated that despite his spine/neck issue, he is ready to pitch in the opening series. The problem here is Weaver has look less than stellar in his last spring training start. His fast ball topped out at 81 mph and his ERA in two games was at a 9.64. The Angels have a ton of talent likely to step up and hit the mound in 2016. Hector Santiago has shined during spring training posting a solid 3.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in four games. Santiago has been impressive, after the fall-out of making the all-star team, Santiago is focused to make the rotation and produce at a high level.

While Santiago is poised to be a big part of the rotation this season, Garrett Richards is poised to be the next ace in the rotation for the Angels. Richards went 15-12 last season with an ERA of 3.65 with 176 strikeouts (The most in his career). Richards will be the key for the Angels pitching this season. Assuming that Richards and Santiago maintain the stellar play on the mound, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Daniel Nava can handle the runs.

Compared to the rest of the Al West the Angels appear to be a “middle of the pack” team. However, the Halo’s have some pieces that could launch them into a contender stage for the division. Richards and Santiago must out preform the rest of the rotation to be considered the new aces with Weaver and Wilson declining rapidly. Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano are also in the mix to make the roation with Matt shoemaker rounding out the top 5. Shoemaker has struggled in spring training, he has an ERA of 9.00 with 9 runs given. That’s minor cause for concern, if the rest of the pitching staff equals Shoemakers numbers. One thing is for sure, Richards and Santiago have the green light in the Angels rotation.