Los Angeles Angels: Breaking down Ricky Nolasco’s 2017 season
The Los Angeles Angels have a variety of pitchers coming to Spring Training, looking to make the 25-man roster. The Angels starting five could change by Opening Day.
The Los Angeles Angels pitchers and catchers are less than 10 days away from their physicals and first workouts. There appears to quite a few players looking to play their way on the Angels starting rotation. One player who’s job could be in jeopardy, is Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco joined the Los Angeles Angels in August of last season. He was apart of the trade that sent fan favorite Hector Santiago to the Minnesota Twins. One thing that was clear is the Angels made that trade more so for Alex Meyer than Nolasco.
Still, Nolasco played as a starter filling the hole left by Santiago’s departure. Nolasco finished the 2016 season with a record of 4-6. His ERA was a cool 3.21. This alone is what gives Nolasco the best chance to remain a starter for the Angels.
Nolasco’s progression to end the 2016 season is noteworthy. The Angels struggled in the ERA department averaging a 4.28 ERA for the season. That’s one area that should be of concern for the Angels this season.
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Nevertheless, Nolasco will have a wide range of pitchers from multiple levels of play to compete with. Players that include Alex Meyer, Jesse Chavez, Bud Norris, and J.C. Ramirez. Among those players, Chavez is the only player who signed a deal to become a starter.
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However, Nolasco simply has to continue what he’s done to finish out last season. Nolasco struggled last season losing his first four games with a record of 0-4. His ERA swelled like a bee sting to 5.40. Following that, Nolasco pitched well, going 4-2 and lowering his ERA to 3.21.
Nolasco is a veteran in the league, Having played since 2008, he definitely has a chance to make and structure this Angels starting roster. However, if he plays poorly during Spring Training, much like he did when he joined the Angels, he’ll likely be reduced to a bullpen role.
Expect for Nolasco to be a big part of the Angels pitching rotation. He may even be placed second behind Garrett Richards depending on what we see during Spring Training.