The LA Angels Are Forgetting About Parker Bridwell
By Vincent Page
This offseason was one to remember for the LA Angels. The prized possession was Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star out of Japan. With his arrival comes a six-man rotation. A rotation that, for some reason, may not include Parker Bridwell.
Last season was one to forget for the LA Angels. While they were in the playoff race until the end, injuries to their starting rotation decimated any chance of a run at the World Series. One of the brightest spots of the season, though, was the rise of Parker Bridwell as a legit starting pitcher in the MLB.
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Acquired early in the season from Baltimore, Bridwell had a 13.50 ERA in two major league appearances. All he did after arriving was make 20 starts (one relief appearance), go 10-3, and own a 3.64 ERA for the entire year. And now, he seems to be an afterthought.
The gang is back together. Garrett Richards is ready to build off a strong end to 2017 and stake his claim as a true ace. Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs are ready to prove they belong in a big league rotation. Ohtani will be serving as a pitcher, as we all know. Matt Shoemaker as earned a rotation spot.
That is five of the six rotation spots. JC Ramirez and Nick Tropeano are both coming off injuries, but have shown flashes in the past. Then there is Bridwell. All signs are pointing to these three fighting it out for the final rotation spot.
It should not be a competition. Bridwell proved himself in 2017. He was the best starter on the Halos last year. Even though his strikeout numbers are not overly impressive, he showed how much control and understanding he has when it comes to pitching.
Bridwell gets a lot of hate because of his style. He relies on his defense a lot, but that is not a bad thing to do, especially with a defense as elite as the Angels behind him.
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Ramirez and Tropeano are both solid pitchers. However, Ramirez may be better suited coming out of the bullpen and making spot starts. Tropeano is a question mark, and not the proven commodity that Bridwell is.
Bridwell proved himself in 2017. There is no reason Mike Scioscia should keep him out of the starting rotation when Opening Day comes around.