With spring training getting under way for the LA Angels and the rest of MLB, there will certainly be questions that need to be answered.
Let’s tackle the biggest and most obvious problem the LA Angels will seem to have at the start of spring training, starting pitching. While the Angels didn’t get what many fans wanted in terms of an ace starting pitcher, they get a lot of depth that may see bare fruit in likes of Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, and Matt Andriese.
They will slot in to a rotation with starters Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, with an occasional start from Shohei Ohtani, whose workload will be monitored by Angels manager Joe Maddon. The others starters fighting for rotation spots include Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Jaime Barria, and Dillon Peters.
The two starters who may make a significant impact towards the Angels rotation are newly acquired Teheran, who is coming off a 3.81 ERA last season that includes 174.2 innings pitched in 33 games started, and Jaime Barria, who is coming off of a down year with a 6.42 ERA, 82.2 innings, and only 13 games started.
Barria was often in a flux that saw him bounce between the minor and major league which if he impresses in Spring Training, then he won’t have to worry about that.
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The other starters will have to really impress both Maddon and Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway as spring training gets under way. Another starter that Angels fans should look at is Dylan Bundy. While he didn’t impress too much with the Orioles, that doesn’t mean the Angels can’t try to unlock some of that lost potential. Getting out of the AL East may benefit Bundy and having a fresh start with a pitching coach like Callaway can certainly help him.
Callaway can try to spot something that other previous coaches missed with Bundy and get the value out of him that the Orioles saw in him when they took him with the fourth pick overall in the 2011 draft. In fact, all of these starters could benefit from Callaway’s philosophy; he did help orchestrate a solid rotation in the Cleveland Indians in seasons past.
While Callaway didn’t have the best time managing the New York Mets, there will be less pressure coming into Anaheim as he only has to worry about the pitching side of things, not dealing with the lineup card anymore.