LA Angels News

LA Angels may have quite a find in Patrick Sandoval who has strong debut

By David Rice
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Patrick Sandoval #43 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 05, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Patrick Sandoval #43 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 05, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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When the LA Angels traded Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros last July many fans were not very happy.  Understandably so as he was one of the best defensive catchers the Angels have ever had.

In the deal the LA Angels got a left-handed pitcher in Patrick Sandoval who had a lot of promise, but was still in Single-A when the Angels acquired him.  Sandoval quickly showed that Billy Eppler made a good decision in asking for the lefty in the trade.

Sandoval continued to rise u in the Angels minor league system in 2019 despite his numbers not being so stellar.  The Angels no doubtedly saw a lefty-handed starter with a strong mental approach.  Sandoval was called up Monday morning to make his major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds and the youngster was up to the challenge.

Despite coming in with a 5-0 deficit thanks to a less-than stellar opener outing by Taylor Cole, Sandoval was outstanding right from the outset.  He did walk the first batter he faced Jesse Winkler.  Winkler got to second on a ground out and then scored on back-to-back wild pitches by Sandoval (the second one should have been caught by Kevan Smith). Sandoval then struck out Eugenio Suarez and got Aristides Aquino to line out to Mike Trout.

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Sandoval settled down in the third striking out the last two batters and then in the fourth inning he worked around two singles striking out Joey Votto and Suarez again with runners on first and third and only one out. Sandoval then threw two perfect frames in the 5th and 6th inning with three more punch outs.  In the seventh Ausmus let Sandoval go out one more time despite being close to the 90 pitch mark that has seemed to be the limit for many young Angel pitchers this season.  Sandoval unfortunately lost Phillip Ervin who he had down 0-2 as he allowed him to come back and walk.  Votto then singled which signaled the end of the line for Sandoval, but still an impressive debut for the rookie in his major league debut.

The final numbers for Sandoval was 5 innings pitched allowing three hits and two runs with eight strikeouts and two walks.  Sandoval threw 96 pitches with 60 of them being in the strike zone.  Sandoval gave the Angels a chance to get back in the game and gave them five quality innings.  Sandoval showed the ability to get all of his pitches over for strikes including a good four-seam fastball which consistently reached 94-96 miles per hour in the early innings and was still 92-94 MPH in the last innings.  He also showed a very good change-up and slider.

With all the injuries to the Angels pitching staff you could possibly see Sandoval stick around for a few weeks until both Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning come back from injuries.  However a rotation with Sandoval, Canning, Heaney, Suarez, and either Dillon Peters or Jaime Barria filling out the fifth spot would not look too shabby for the rest of the season.  If Sandoval shows that he can repeat his debut performance the first four mentioned above could make-up the Angels opening day rotation in 2020 along with hopefully a Shohei Ohtani and now you have a formidable rotation that could be around for years to come.

This does not mean that the Angels will shy away from getting an ace such as Gerrit Cole in free agency in the off-season to solidify the rotation, but the pitching staff should be much improved in 2020.

Great job Patrick!!! Keep it up and welcome to the Angels.

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