LA Angels News

LA Angels need to pull the plug on Chris Stratton experiment

By David Rice
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: Pitcher Chris Stratton #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning of the MLB game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 07, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: Pitcher Chris Stratton #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning of the MLB game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 07, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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LA Angels general manager Billy Eppler has found many diamonds in the rough and brought them in to help the Angels and they flourish. Chris Stratton is one big miss.

I know its still early in the season but the LA Angels are teetering on the edge of falling out of the AL West Division race.  There are many reasons for this most notably injuries, but also the ineffectiveness of the Angels starting rotation is a big culprit.

Although fifth starter Chris Stratton does not have the worst ERA in the Angels starting rotation, that distinction goes to Matt Harvey (9.64 ERA).  Stratton’s ERA is 7.00 in four starts which has not seen him make it through five innings.  More than this he doesn’t seem to have a clue how to rectify it.

Stratton needs to be sent down to the minors and Jaime Barria needs to be given back the role he earned in 2018 by going 11-10 with 3.55 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP. Barria looked like he had nailed down the 5th spot in the rotation during the last week of Spring Training.

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However, Angels general manager Billy Eppler and manager Brad Ausmus threw everyone a curve ball by sending down Barria to Triple-A Salt Lake City and acquiring Stratton from the San Francisco Giants and inserting him into the starting rotation as the Angels fifth starter.  Stratton looks lost at times and does not seem to have a clue of how to fix things.

Startton has a 2.00 WHIP and allowing 13 walks in 18 innings and has allowed opponents to hit .315 against him.  His lack of control has made Stratton have to battle in and out of trouble almost every inning he has pitched for the Angels.

I’m not saying the Angels should get rid of Stratton entirely, just send him down to the minors to possibly work some things out. He could come back a stronger pitcher and maybe someone who could either fill-in as a middle reliever or even a fill-in starter.  My opinion is if it wasn’t broke (Jaime Barria) don’t fix it.

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Jaime Barria should be the Angels fifth starter until proven otherwise and the sooner they do so things will be better at the back end of the Angels rotation.  Doing this will not solve all of the Angels problems, but it will help.

So Mr. Eppler if you are listening, please fix your mistake now before it gets worse. When Tyler Skaggs returns send Chris Stratton packing to Triple-A.

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