The LA Angels have been in a Wild Card race for the ages. With the season coming to an end, and the playoffs still in sight, how would the Angels deploy a rotation in the playoffs?
The LA Angels have had a shaky rotation throughout the season. They have recently had Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, and Tyler Skaggs all return from injury. However, Heaney and Skaggs have struggled since their returns. The question is, how would the Angels utilize their starting pitchers should a playoff berth come?
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What matters most is the Wild Card game. A one game playoff doesn’t bode well for the Halos, who have been inconsistent all season. Ricky Nolasco has the most starts this year, but would all but certainly put pressure on the Halo offense. Unless Skaggs and Heaney fix their current problems, they are also out of the question.
That leaves the Angels with two possibilities. Richards could make the start for the team. However, he is more than likely going to be on a pitch count throughout the season. He looked sharp in his return though, and should be back in the groove of things come October.
The other option for the Halos would be Parker Bridwell. Bridwell was acquired earlier this season from Baltimore, and has shown flashes of excellence. He has faltered as of late, but has still undeniably been the best Angels starter this season. If he can string together a few solid starts to end the season, it would be hard for Mike Scioscia to not hand the ball to the rookie.
In my opinion, the Angels would be making a mistake to not give Richards the start. When healthy, Richards has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League over the past few years. While Bridwell has been solid this year, that has mainly been due to the great defense around him.
Whoever the Angels choose to start, they would more than likely rely on their strong bullpen in a Wild Card Game. It has been their most consistent position group, and would be a key to a playoff run.
However, the Angels have been on a bad stretch recently, and could be headed home after the regular season if they don’t turn things around.