LA Angels News

Breaking down the LA Angels 40-man roster: Who should stay and who should go?

By David Rice
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim strikes out swinging as catcher Beau Taylor #46 of the Oakland Athletics looks for the ball during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Angel Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Ohtani struck out swinging. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim strikes out swinging as catcher Beau Taylor #46 of the Oakland Athletics looks for the ball during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Angel Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Ohtani struck out swinging. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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The No-Brainers to be on the roster when 2020 begins.

Shohei Ohtani – If Shohei Ohtani is not on the Angels roster when the 2020 season there is something wrong with the Universe.  Ohtani has been as good if not better than advertised both at the plate and on the mound.  Although he was not able to pitch for the Angels in 2019 Ohtani has done his part at the plate providing Mike Trout with some protection in the line-up and having a very nice sophomore campaign so far.  Ohtani has hit .306 with 16 homers and 54 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 324 at-bats.  His OBP is .364 as well.

Ohtani numbers are close to his 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign in almost the same number of at-bats (326 in 2018, currently 324 in 2019).  Plus next season Ohtani be able to get back on the mound which will be a huge plus for the team if he can stay healthy and pitch like he did in 2018.  Pitching will cut down on Ohtani’s plate appearances somewhat, but they still should be pretty solid.

You will see Shohei Ohtani come opening day of 2020.

David Fletcher – Since being called up to the majors in mid-June of 2018 David Fletcher has found a way to help the team both with his glove and his bat.  Fletcher is currently hitting .287 with five homers and 42 RBIs.  He also is one of the most versatile players on the roster as he can play anywhere in the infield and has also been used in the corner outfield positions.

Fletcher has been used all over the line-up including the lead-off spot and is one of the toughest players to strike out in baseball.  He will be used in multiple spots again in 2020, but most likely will split time between second and third base depending on what the status is for injured third baseman Zack Cozart.  Fletcher will be on the opening day roster.

Griffin Canning – Barring a serious injury Canning will be in the Angels Opening Day starting rotation.  Canning has had his ups and downs in his rookie season as well as some injuries, but as a whole you can see the potential is there for him to be a frontline starter.  His last outing may have been his best all season going seven strong inning allowing only one run on five hits while striking out eight batters. Canning has gone at least five innings in 13 of his 17 starts and has seven quality starts.

Canning’s overall numbers are a 5-6 record with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP striking out 96 batters in 90 innings of work.  Another good thing for Canning is he has only walked 30 batters.  This gives Canning a 3 to 1 strikeouts to walks ratio. He is walking only one batter every three innings which shows that his command is there as well as his velocity which has registered as high as 98 MPH on the radar gun.  Canning is a future star whose time is now.

Andrew Heaney – Heaney despite having a rough year with injuries that have seen him only make 12 starts he still has a tremendous upside.  If you have seen Heaney’s ;ast two starts you can see that potential being realized he has pitched 15 innings with 20 strikeouts and no walks.  He has given up four runs in that span good for a 2.40 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP.  I know this is a small sample size, but it deserves noting for Heaney.

Heaney has the potential to be a #1 of #2 starter if he can just stay healthy long enough to do it.  If Heaney can continue to show this kind of promise he will be a guaranteed #2 starter.  Nevertheless Heaney is a lock to be offered a contract for next season.

Ty Buttrey – Ty Buttrey has been one of the most reliable bullpen arms this year as mostly a set-up man and he has done a little bit of closer duty.  Buttrey is 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA and two saves.  He has 71 strikeouts in 59 innings and has a 1.29 WHIP.  He has only walked 18 batters which gives Buttrey a 4 to 1 strikeouts to walks ratio.  He just has had a couple of bad stretches due to overuse.

Buttrey will be a key part of a bullpen mix in 2020 which will probably include Keynan Middleton and Hansel Robles.  Unless something crazy happens you will see Ty Buttrey in 2020.

Hansel Robles – Hansel Robles went into 2019 without a defined role in the bullpen but he quickly pitched his way into a set-up role and shortly thereafter the closers’ role.  Robles has held the closer spot since early May and has done very well posting a 4-0 record with a 2.78 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  Robles has saved 18 of 21 games he has had the opportunity to.  He has struck out 57 batters in 58 innings and has only 15 walks.

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