The Los Angeles Angels Rotation Is It’s Own Answer

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 29: Garrett Richards
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 29: Garrett Richards /
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The first week of May is early in the season, just 31 games in, but the Los Angeles Angels starting rotation is already circling their wagons.

Like in the last act of a 1950s western, the Los Angeles Angels pitching staff has been shot up and bloodied, reduced in numbers, and as it looks right now, the cavalry’s not coming. The Angels are going to have to fix themselves, or — figurative — die trying,

The Los Angeles Angels got fat early, playing well and overwhelming weak Oakland and Texas squads. However, in the recent 12-game stretch against the Red Sox, Giants, Astros, and Yankees — unlike the A’s and Rangers, actual contending teams — the Angels got butchered, going 3-9, and were easily swept by both Boston and New York.

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In what has become a familiar tune, the starting pitchers failed miserably. In those dozen games, the starters posted a combined 6.88 ERA, six times allowing four or more runs, five times not even getting to the fifth inning before getting knocked out. In the team’s first real test against quality opposition, the Angels were humiliated.

Car salesmen have a term for this: “cascading failure,” when one failure triggers a series of other problems, creating failures across the board. Bad starting pitching triggers cascading failures, forcing an already weakened bullpen to be even more overworked, while the offense is pressured to play from behind nearly every single game.

So what can be done? Some critics have pointed to the slew of injuries that have hit the Angel rotation hard, and suggested that General Manager Billy Eppler should have signed some free agent starters this winter. However, both Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb have been miserable for their new teams, and the Angels weren’t about to pony up for Jake Arrieta. They came into 2018 with one new arm, Shohei Ohtani, and a bunch of recovering ones. Let’s take a closer look at each one: