With all the injuries the LA Angels had this season, they were forced to use a lot of younger pitchers with mixed results. So let;s look at how each of them did in 2019.
The LA Angels have been talking about their young itching prospects the past couple of seasons and we finally got to see some of them get a trial run in the majors this season. So let’s. Take a look at how each one of them did this season.
The prized jewel – Griffin Canning
Griffin Canning was drafted in the second round of the 2017 amateur draft out of UCLA and was spectacular in his one minor league season going 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA striking out 125 batters in 113 innings of work with a 1.26 WHIP and an opponents batting average of .236.
Canning was expected to be a mid-to-late season call up, but when the Angels had some early season injury issues and a few pitchers being less than effective they called Canning up to see what he could do. The young right-hander who can reach the high 90’s on the radar gun showed some really good promise going 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Canning struck out 96 batters in 90.1 innings of work before going on the IL with shoulder inflammation.
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His best outing may have been against Kansas City where he went seven innings allowing no runs and only three hits while striking out five. His last outing on August 18th was also stellar going seven innings giving up only one run on five hits and striking out eight batters. He will definitely be a mainstay in the Angels rotation for years to come
Patrick Sandoval was acquired in a trade for Martin Maldonado at the 2018 trade deadline and also possesses a mid-to-high 90’s fastball. He was not expected to be called up until at least September if not then 2020. However, with the death of Tyler Skaggs coupled with the injury to Felix Pena and later Griffin Canning the Angels decided to take a look at their young fireballer.
They were very cautious with Sandoval only allowing him to go five innings one time which was his first outing in Cincinnati where he pitched five innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out eight hitters. There never allowed him to go more that 90 pitches and usually took him around the 70-75 pitch range now to overwork him.
His record was not stellar going 0-4 with a 5.03 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 39.1 innings of work with a 1.37 WHIP with opponents only batting .240 off of him. He definitely shows a lot of promise and the Angels are excited about Sandoval’s future. He could make the rotation next season, or be one season away depending on who the Angels sign during the off-season. Just like Canning he will be a mainstay in the Angels rotation in the future.
Jose Suarez was not looked upon as a top prospect for the Angels but had a strong 2018 campaign that saw him rise up from Single-A to Triple-A in one year going 3-6 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Suarez struck out 142 batters in only 117 innings of work.
Suarez was another young arm that was forced into service by injuries and ineffectiveness by some of the other Angel starters. Suarez won his first start going 5.2 innings in Seattle on June 2nd allowing three runs and striking out four. He pitched well against Tampa Bay two weeks later going 5.2 innings again and giving up three runs with three strikeouts.
However, that his last good start until September in Oakland when he went 5.1 innings allowing two runs and striking out two. Suarez’s last start may have been his best all season going five innings against Houston allowing only three hits and two runs striking out six Astros.
His overall numbers were less than stellar finishing 2-6 with a 7.11 ERA allowing 23 homers in only 81 innings of work while striking out 72 batters. It was sort of a baptism by fire for the young southpaw. He will probably not are the rotation in 2020, but be a long-man in the bullpen or start the season in the minors. It will depend on the other Angel starters.
After a stellar year in 2018, Jaime Barria struggled in 2019 going 4-10 with a 6.42 ERA. He made a few spot starts during the early season before being a fixture in the rotation for the last six weeks of the season. Like Suarez, Barria was victimized by the long-ball giving up 24 bombs in only 82.2 innings of work.
Barria did strikeout 75 batters in 82.2 innings and like the other young guns had a few good outings throughout the season. He had back-to-back solid outings pitching five innings twice in a row giving up one run against Oakland then Cincinnati striking out six in both games. He also had a solid outing against Texas in July giving up only two runs in five innings striking out eight Rangers.
However the game I will remember was when Barria shut down the Dodgers for five innings in late July allowing only one run and striking out three in a series clinching victory. Barria will be a pitcher that could be a good bullpen piece and spot starter in 2020, but will not likely make the rotation. It definitely was not the best season after going 10-9 with a 3.41 ERA in his rookie season in 2018.
Overall the young guns had a tough season in the Angels rotation combining for a 11-26 record with an ERA of 6.06, but there is definitely a lot of potential that makes the future look much brighter than the past.