The LA Angels went into the offseason with starting pitching being their biggest need, and even after some offseason acquisitions, they still might need more help.
For now though, as the LA Angels are hopefully focusing their efforts on pursuing Hyun-Jin Ryu, we’re going to rank the Angels best ten starting pitchers already in their organization. Hopefully this list has a new addition or two atop it, but until then this is what Joe Maddon and Co. are working with.
10.) Felix Pena
This is not where Pena would usually be slotted, but considering he is still rehabbing from a torn ACL, this is more of an “Honorable Mention”. When healthy, Pena is in the 5-7 range of starters, but is also a candidate to be used out of the bullpen in a multi-inning role in 2020.
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9.) Jose Suarez
Of the trio of rookies to debut last season, I was least impressed with Jose Suarez. He just seemed like he needed much more time to develop. If Saurez is starting games for the Angels consistently at any point in 2020, it’ll mean big trouble in Anaheim.
8.) Dillon Peters
Inconsistent in 2019, but Dillon Peters showed some flashes of being a legitimate rotation piece. He’ll never be someone who can consistently give 6-7 innings a start, but Peters would work extremely well with an opener if the Halos look to utilize that strategy again in 2020.
7.) Patrick Sandoval
The second of the three rooks, and perhaps the most impressive given expectations. Sandoval finished the season on a tremendous run, and I have hopes of him earning a rotation spot in Spring Training. His grittiness when pitching and eagerness to improve has been well-documented, and gives him a fighter’s chance in 2020.
6.) Jaime Barria
A victim of two very, very bad games in 2019, Jaime Barria’s ERA is very misleading. His 6.42 ERA drops down to 4.90 after removing those two starts. While that obviously isn’t the mark of a frontline starter, Barria offers legitimate depth in the rotation.
5.) Griffin Canning
The top young pitcher in the Angels’ system, Griffin Canning had an up-and-down rookie season that was ended early to protect his arm after some inflammation flared up. He has the stuff to be a legitimate #2 at his best, and could benefit big time from a full offseason of MLB prep.
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4.) Dylan Bundy
The newly acquired Dylan Bundy isn’t going to shock anyone with his ERA, but his durability is what makes him such an attractive piece for the Angels. He is someone the team will be able to count on. And as they say, the best ability is availability.
3.) Andrew Heaney
Heaney has been a rollercoaster ever since arriving in Anaheim. He has shown flashes of being a legitimate ace, including a phenomenal streak of starts in the middle of last season. However, injuries and inconsistency have held him back thus far. In terms of pure talent, though, Heaney is arguably the second best pitcher for the Angels.
2.) Julio Teheran
Remember everything I said about Bundy about durability and eating innings? The same goes for Julio Teheran, but with even more upside. As of now, he is the best pure starter the Angels have. And while he’ll be a fine #2, Teheran would look much better as a #3 starter in a rotation.
1.) Shohei Ohtani
Duh. Shohei Ohtani has as much talent on the mound as any pitcher in the league. While it’s unclear how the Angels will utilize him in 2020 (they have a lot of options), Shohei Ohtani’s return to pitching is going to be much-anticipated, and a huge boost for this Angels rotation.