In mid-February, the Los Angeles Angels pitchers and catchers will report for spring training. This season, we should actually see an injury-free pitching staff.
For the first time in what seems like a decade, the Los Angeles Angels should have a healthy pitching staff to begin the 2018 season. Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, and Nick Tropeano are all expected to be 100% to start spring training.
This is great news and hopefully a sign of what the Los Angeles Angels can be entering 2018. At this point, we all know Houston is the number one team in the American League West. However, the Angels should be primed for the number two spot. That is, of course, if the Angels can keep the starting rotation healthy.
It’s no secret that the Angels have been an all-night drive-thru for the injury bug to feast on. In fact, over the last two season’s Richards has pitched in just 12 games. Heaney has pitched in six games over the last two seasons as well.
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Richards and Heaney are arguably the Angels two best pitchers. However, the excitement around Shohei Ohtani could change all that. Although, the talk surrounding the ligament damage in his elbow is concerning. However, Angels GM Billy Eppler has assured fans that Ohtani will be ready for the 2018 Angels.
I’ll spare you from the traditional time is running out talk. We all know that 2020 is rapidly approaching and the future of the Angels depends highly on what Mike Trout decides to do going forward. However, the upcoming season will provide hope the Los Angeles Angels can finally turn a page and fight for a wild-card spot, maybe even the division.
Prior to the injuries of Richards and Heaney, both pitchers were starting to blossom for the Halos. In 2015 Richards pitched in 32 games and finished the year with a 15-12 record, throwing a 3.65 ERA in over 200 innings pitched. Heaney was almost as impressive with a 6-4 record over the span of 18 games. His ERA was 3.49 in 105 innings on the mound.
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There will be intense pressure on the Los Angeles Angels to keep both Richards and Heaney healthy. However, if the Angels suffer injuries to the pitching staff this season, it may be time for Billy Eppler to reconsider who is coaching the Angels.
The ever-strong Halo nation undoubtedly has mixed emotions when it comes to the job security of Mike Scioscia. With his contract set to run out after this season, you can believe his progress will be under a microscope this season.