Tyler Skaggs Facing Pivotal Season for LA Angels
By Vincent Page
The LA Angels have been unfortunate in the injury category the past couple of years, especially when it comes to their starting rotation. Too many times have their potential aces been sent to the disabled list. One of those pitchers is Tyler Skaggs, but he may just be the Halos best pitcher come 2018.
When the LA Angels traded slugger Mark Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks, fans were reasonably upset. Trumbo was coming off a three-year stretch where he totaled 80 doubles, 95 big flies, and 282 RBI’s. In return they got a veteran in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.
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At the time, Skaggs had made 13 major league starts where he accumulated a 3-6 record with a 5.43 ERA. So far with the Angels, he has yet to have an ERA below 4.17 in a season. However, there have been major flashes of potential.
All the news about the Angels’ rotation will be about Garrett Richards‘ pursuit of regaining his All Star form from 2014 along with Shohei Ohtani‘s journey into the major leagues. However, Skaggs will be making a comeback of his own. He has the potential to be a front of the rotation start in the league, but injuries have crippled his career thus far in his career.
There have been times in his career where Skaggs’ curveball rivals Clayton Kershaw‘s as the best in baseball. When Skaggs is in good form, he has shown elite flashes. His curveball is an excellent strikeout pitch against either lefties or righties, and he uses it as such. When Skaggs leans on his curveball while ahead of hitters, he is at his most effective.
Skaggs will more than likely head into the season as a backend start for the Halos. With Garrett Richards and Shohei Ohtani the undisputed one-two punch, and Matt Shoemaker returning to form, Skaggs will be competing with others for his spot in the relationship.
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Skaggs is not the most talented pitcher on the roster. However, both Richards and Shoemaker have been battling injuries the past couple of years. No one knows how Ohtani will adapt to the majors, and a steep learning curve could take place. The front end starters all have their concerns, and Skaggs will be essential to the Halos playoff hopes come 2018. Skaggs may not be the most talented, but he may end up the best this year.