The LA Angels have had a lot of players with injuries this season especially within the starting rotation and bullpen. With some players getting healthy it will lead to some tough decisions in the upcoming weeks.
When the LA Angels signed Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill to one-year contracts in the off-season they were hoping these two pitchers would help solidify their starting rotation at least for this season until guys like Shohei Ohtani and J.C. Ramirez would return. It also was done to give guys like Griffin Cannng and Jose Suarez a little more time to develop in the minors.
Well as they say the best laid plans….. Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill both have been very inconsistent in their first couple of months with the team. They also have both ended up on the injured list for the Angels, which could have been part of the reason for their ineffectiveness.
Whatever it is the Angels are now left with some tough decisions to make going forward. Matt Harvey did a rehab start, but was shut down so his timetable to return is unknown at the moment. However, Trevor Cahill made a rehab start Friday which did not go very well, nevertheless he is close to returning.
J.C. Ramirez is also on the verge of returning as he has been on a rehab assignment since the beginning of June, which will end this Saturday when the Angels will have to make a decision on him as well.
Both Ramirez and Cahill have experience starting and as relievers so they could be used in either capacity for the Angels which gives them some flexibility. The Angels bullpen could definitely use another strong arm who can get hitters out.
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The Angels just demoted Jose Suarez over the weekend which seems to lead to the assumption that Cahill may fill Suarez’s spot in the rotation which comes up on Wednesday. Ramirez has struggled in some of his rehab outings, but with him starting tonight in Triple-A he would not be used for the start Wednesday.
Since Cahill also pitched on Friday he would be on track to start on Wednesday if the Angels decide to go that route.
So here lies the dilemma for Angels manager Brad Ausmus and general manager Billy Eppler and his staff. Do you give Cahill one more chance to prove he deserves to be in the starting rotation, or do you relegate Cahill to the bullpen or even release him? Pretty loaded question for sure.
Which brings us to Ramirez. Ramirez will undoubtedly be recalled before Saturday’s deadline, but his future is still in limbo. Ramirez has to be called up or else the Angels would risk losing him if he was outrighted to Salt Lake City because he would have to clear waivers.
Ramirez could be valuable in either area for the Angels, it will just depend where they see is the best fit for him. A third card in this mix is Keynan Middleton who is less than a month away from being back in the majors. Middleton would only be placed into the bullpen and could eventually take the closer role from Hansel Robles.
When Middleton is ready to come back that will push someone out of the pen which could be Cahill if that’s where he is placed. So you can see this three-ring circus situation the Angels could be facing soon.
The next few weeks will be interesting to watch and see what the Angels decide to do to rectify this situation. Hopefully things will work out for the best.