Filling out the staff –
The Angels have talked a lot about a six-man rotation mostly to accommodate Shohei Ohtani. With Ohtani struggling and in danger of not making the opening opening day roster what will the Angels decide to do for their rotation is anyone’s guess. This decision will determine the fate of a couple of Angels starters as well as relievers.
As of right now it is looking like Nick Tropeano and Parker Bridwell are the odd men out in the race for a six-man rotation. If it turns out the Angels go to a five-man rotation they both will almost definitely be on the outside looking in. Both have options for the minors and with the way Bridwell has pitched (0-1, 9.22 ERA and a WHIP of 1.90). Tropeano on the otherhand had not logged many innings so far (3.1 IP in two starts) lead most people to believe that will not be in the Angels plans at least initially.
However, on Sunday Tropeano made a strong case for himself to be in the starting rotation talk as he was lights out throwing 81 pitches in 5.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing only two hits and striking out nine batters. So the jury is still out on Tropeano.
Whoever does not make the starting rotation Bridwell, Tropeano, etc. will be ready to come and fill-in if anyone goes down with an injury from the rotation this could change. As for the rest of the staff there a few pitchers vying for two bullpen spots. There is a plethora of left-handed relievers with major league exprience the Angels.
The left-handed specialist spot is a three-man race as Ian Krol, Greg Mahle, and Jose Alvarez all are vying for one spot. Alvarez is the incumbent and has pitched very well this Spring throwing 8.1 innings giving up only one run with 8 strikeouts with a 1.08 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP.
Ian Krol is a non-roster invitee and has done well in most outings going 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched with seven strikeouts. The only negative is a 1.57 WHIP, but with Alvarez pitching well it may be hard for Krol to break through. Greg Mahle on the otherhand has been great in limited action pitching in 2.1 innings and giving up only one hit not giving up a run and striking out one batter.
Mahle had a golden chance two years ago, but could not sustain after a stellar Spring and was subsequently sent down. He most likely will not be able to unseat Alvarez this Spring unless he falters. We will just have to wait and see.
Other pitchers that have an outside chance to make the roster are Felix Pena and Blake Wood. Pena has looked good this Spring pitching 7.1 innings with a 3.68 ERA and 12 strikeouts with a 1.50 WHIP. The high WHIP looks bad, but the strikeout numbers put Pena in the conversation.
As for Blake Wood he probably had a spot coming in this Spring, but he has not pitched well at all. Wood has posted an 8.10ERA in 6.2 innings with a 2.55 WHIP so his chances of making the roster are now slim at best.
There maybe a surprise addition or omission to the roster at the end of the Spring, but more than likely the players that have been mentioned in this article is where the 25-man roster will be formed from. Feel free to comment and give your dark horse candidates for the roster. We will find out in less than two weeks.