LA Angels News

LA Angels: Don’t Give Up on Chris Stratton Just Yet

By Vincent Page
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 01: Chris Stratton #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the field after giving up four runs to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at T-Mobile Park on April 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 01: Chris Stratton #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the field after giving up four runs to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at T-Mobile Park on April 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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On Monday night, the LA Angels watched as their newest starting pitcher Chris Stratton made his debut in the white and red.

However, for the LA Angels and their fans, Chris Stratton left a lot to be desired. The Mariners’ lineup raked against the Boston Red Sox, but their rotation struggled and their bullpen is pathetic. It could have been a good start for the Stratton Era in Anaheim.

However, as we all know, Stratton struggled against the Mariners. The first inning was where the real damage was done, as he allowed four runs on four hits and one walk. As always, his pitches had solid movement. Nonetheless, he wasn’t efficient with them as only 57% of his pitches were strikes.

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However, after that first inning, Strattong settled down and retired 11 of 13 batters over the next 3.1 innings. He didn’t allow another run and in his final two innings saw his strike percentage jump to a much more acceptable 66%.

So yeah, his first start wasn’t great. However, Stratton showed as his start progressed that he can be a major league starter, albeit an inconsistent one. I know you won’t believe me when I say this, but there is reason to be optimistic about Stratton in an Angels uniform.

The reason for this optimism is Doug White. The Angels’ new pitching coach is one of the best in the game, as evidenced by his time in Houston. He revived Justin Verlander’s career while also taking a stud in Gerrit Cole and turning him into a legitimate Cy Young candidate.

For the rest of the Angels’ pitchers, they’ve had all of Spring Training to work with White and perfect their craft. Stratton became an Angel less than a week ago. He hasn’t had time to work with White yet, and that could lead to much more beneficial starts in the future.

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I’m not saying Stratton is going to turn into the ace of the Angels’ rotation. However, I think there is much more to unlock with his abilities, especially when he can actually work with Doug White. A former first round pick, Stratton obviously has the talent. Now, he just needs the coaching.

And the Angels can supply.

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