This is 100% the Angels’ biggest need right now. While the lineup and rotation has performed well enough, this team can be taken to an entirely new level. As of right now, there are at least four Halo players who are out with injury and would undoubtably benefit the Angels’ lineup.
The first and most obvious is Mike Trout. While his right groin strain isn’t serious and seems to be improving, it is n obvious statement to say this team needs him in center field every game possible.
The team’s offense is also missing its second and third best hitters in Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton. While their returns will be later in the year, early May for Ohtani and likely June for Upton, when they do return it will reignite this Angels offense and make it into the elite unit some thought it could be prior to the season.
In terms of pitching, as always, the Halos have a large amount on the Injured List. The most significant, however, is Andrew Heaney. Similar to last season, Heaney’s debut was delayed due to some elbow issues. He received a cortisone shot and is working towards a return, which could come sometime this month.
Heaney would stabilize the rotation, likely booting Chris Stratton to the bullpen or off the roster.
Other names to watch include JC Ramirez, Taylor Cole, Keynan Middleton, and Nick Tropeano. Of those, Ramirez and Cole can both pitch out of the bullpen or as starters. Middleton is slated for return this summer to continue his rise as one of the best young relievers in baseball. Tropeano seemingly just can’t get healthy, but if he does, would be a welcome addition to the rotation.
As always, the best ability is availability. That has been the Angels’ weakness for years, and it seems they’re getting the full squad back soon. When they do, this team could end up very, very dangerous.