Angels: Ricky Nolasco still looking for his first win as an Angel
By Joshua Lea
The Angels traded Hector Santiago to the Minnesota Twins on August 1st of this year. In return, they acquired Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer. Currently, Nolasco has appeared in four game as an Angel, and is still looking for his first win.
Tonight, the Angels are kicking off a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers in the Motor City. The Tigers sit just four games behind Cleveland in the AL Central. The Tigers are also in third place in a very tight AL Wild Card race. A race that left the Angels at the starting line back in June.
Ricky Nolasco will be throwing this evening, matching up with Justin Verlander (13-7, 3.38 ERA). Nolasco has struggled as an Angel. He’s appeared in four games, has a 0-3 record, and his ERA is 5.70 in those four games. Nolasco needs a victory tonight.
In the last five games the Tigers are 4-1; although, Nolasco has pitched well against Detroit (2-3, 3.86 ERA).
Assuming Nolasco continues to struggle as a starting pitcher, what do the Angels do following this season. Nolasco will make $12 million in 2017, and will have a $13 million team option for 2018.
It’s unlikely the Angels will trade him during the off-season. It’s still confusing of how he was acquired in the first place. Nevertheless, Nolasco is here at least until 2018, so the question is what do the Halos do with him? Should he move to Triple-AAA? Should he go to the bullpen and try to work on his stuff there?
The Angels need Nolasco to get it together, they’ll need him to pitch well next season.
Clearly, We all know and understand this deal was about Alex Meyer and Nolasco was a throw-in. The Twins were eager to get rid of Nolasco. However, the Angels we’re really in the position to take on a guy like him. Sure, he’ll fill the hole left by Santiago’s absence this season. But, next season is going to be tricky.
Nolasco isn’t in the rebuilding plans going forward. He’s merely a guy in the rotation for now while this season is still going. I would expect for the Angels to move him either to the pen or Triple-AAA next season. But, he’ll be in a Angel uniform.
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If the Halos are unsuccessful in landing any great free-agent pitching, they’ll use Nolasco more than they plan to next season. If Jered Weaver walks away and we finally say goodbye to C.J. Wilson, they’ll have an extra $40 million in cap space. That’s plenty of money to sign a decent pitcher who can give the Angels some much need wins.