Who are the LA Angels long shots to make the Opening Day Roster

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 26: Greg Mahle
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 26: Greg Mahle /

Each of the past couple of seasons the LA Angeles have had some surprise players make the opening day rosters. Some of which are still here and others have faded.  So are this year’s crop of underdogs?

The LA Angels surprises to make the team out of Spring Training the past couple of seasons have been guys like Cam Bedrosian, Bud Norris, Blake Parker, and Yusmeiro Petit.  Other players such as Jefry Marte, Greg Mahle, and Eric Young Jr. did not make the Opening Day roster but were called upon very early in the past couple of seasons and most all of them produced fairly well for the Angels.

With that being said, let’s look at this year’s potential dark horse candidates to make the club.

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Chris Carter – Carter has been in the majors consistently from 2012 to 2017 and has tremendous power.  Unfortunately a career .217 batting average with 951 strikeouts in 2469 at-bats takes away from his 158 home runs. Can Carter resurrect himself in Anaheim and join the crazy 1B fray.  Maybe.  So far he is hitting .333 with a homer and three RBI’s.

However, there may not be room in the inn as Luis Valbuena and Albert Pujols will get most of thee time at first base. Carter could have some value as a DH with C.J. Cron gone, but he is at best a long shot.

Chris Young – Young is another player with a plethora of major league experience.  Young is a lot older than most of the Angels potential long shots as he is 34 years old with 11 years of big league experience.  The difference is Young can play all three outfield spots and has a career .990 fielding percentage.

Young has a career .237 batting average with 185 HR’s and 577 RBI’s so he is a little more consistent than Carter.  Young’s chance to make the Opening Day roster is pretty good since he has actually signed a major league contract (Carter is signed to a minor league deal).

Noe Ramirez – Ramirez was picked up on waivers from Boston late in 2017 and showed some good stuff out of the bullpen in August and September going 8.1 innings and allowing only two runs while striking out 10 batters.  Even more impressive was his opponents batting average was only .111.

This Spring Ramirez has picked up right where he left off pitching three scoreless innings allowing only two hits and striking four batters. Ramirez will most likely make the Angels bullpen for Opening Day.

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Colin Walsh – Walsh is a true long shot coming into camp with only 38 gams of MLB experience.  what makes Walsh attractive is his versatility as he can play the outfield, third base, second base, and possibly even a little bit at shortstop.  With the Angels roster potentially limited by the six-man rotation, versatility will be a key for any potential reserve.

So far in camp Walsh is tearing it up batting .357 with two homers and four RBI’s in 14 at-bats.  He is still relatively young at age 28 and s a graduate of Stanford University. His potential to make the Opening Day roster is marginal, but with each strong performance, Walsh’s chances get a little better.

Greg Mahle – Mahle has been down this road before in 2016 as he was a long shot to make the club coming into the Spring, but forced his way onto the roster early in 2016 with his unique three arm slots and his ability to get lefties out as a left-handed specialist.  Unfortunately as quickly as he came into the picture Mahle fell out of it with a bout of wildness and ineffectiveness.

Since that time Mahle has struggled to find the magic in the minors until late last season when he started to pitch better, enough to get invited to camp this Spring.  So far h has made two flawless appearance allowing only one hit with a strikeout and no runs in two scoreless appearances.

If it was anyone else but Greg Mahle I would saw his chances would be slim to none, but since he is somewhat of a known commodity to the Angel coaches and the fact that the Angels don’t have a true lefty specialist give Mahle a shot.  I would not bet against him if he finds his mojo you will may just see him in Anaheim come April.

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Ian Krol – One final long shot is another lefty specialist Ian Krol.  Krol has pitched in 224 games out of the bullpen over the past five seasons with an 8-6 record and an ERA of 4.55, striking out 176 batters in 188 innings of work. His 1.47 WHIP is a concern and is probably why he has bounced around to three teams during his career most recently the Atlanta Braves.

However, just like Mahle he is a lefty-specialist and that is something the Angels are looking for this season. In three appearances this Spring Krol has pitched 2.2 innings giving up four hits and two walks while striking out four batters. His Spring ERA is 3.38 and his Spring WHIP is 2.25.  Nothing to write home about, but if he can get it together in the next month, Krol has a decent chance of making the Angels Opening Day Roster.

Next: Starting pitchers looking good so far in Spring for Angels

These are just some of the potential long shots to make the Angels roster, but we will see how things shake down at the end of March.  Good luck to all players this Spring hope to see you in Anaheim.