The LA Angels are going into the offseason with their sights set on an ace from a division rival, but they may just have their own ace finding his groove as the 2019 season winds down.
Every news source in the country right now will tell you about how the LA Angels and free agent to-be Gerrit Cole are a match made in heaven.
And that may still be true, but if the Halos fail to land Cole this offseason, maybe they won’t be in as bad a position with their rotation as we think.
The reason I say this is Andrew Heaney. While his overall numbers on the season aren’t gaudy (although an ERA below four is nice to see), it’s his performance as of late that is really catching notice.
In Heaney’s last eight games, he’s been lights out. In 45.1 innings pitched over that span, he has 56 strikeouts to only 13 walks. His command and control have both been on point, as he is utilizing his fastball, slider, and changeup as efficiently as he ever has.
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That three pitch combo is proving to be on of the best in the league when Heaney has them working, and it’s giving hitters across the league fits. In those eight starts, Heaney has a 2.98 ERA, and if not for a rough outing against Oakland, he’d have a 2.30 ERA since June 25th.
This stretch of games is coming at not just a pivotal moment in Heaney’s career, but his life. The loss of Tyler Skaggs shook the entire MLB, but no player was closer to Skaggs than Heaney, who considered Skaggs his best friend.
This dominant stretch was highlighted by Heaney’s eight inning, 14 strikeout game in Arlington against the Rangers last week. That was the first game of the doubleheader, and was the game postponed after the shocking tragedy of Skaggs’ passing.
Heaney was at his nastiest on the mound that day, and has been for the past two months of his career. He is showing the Angels and the fans just how dominant he truly can be.
Whether they sign Gerrit Cole, another top-end starter, or strike out in free agency like last year, one thing is for certain.
Andrew Heaney is the nastiest pitcher the Angels have, and will be for years to come.