Joe Maddon wanted six-man rotation before pandemic, some candidates
Had the season started on time, there’s a good chance Patrick Sandoval would have made the opening rotation. With Ohtani not ready to return until mid-May and Canning on the mend, the Angels would have needed to call on their starting depth in April.
The 23-year-old left-hander only made two appearances during the spring, one start, and he wasn’t spectacular (allowing 3 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs, while striking out 5 over five innings). However, he appears ready to advance to the big leagues after a quick progression through the minor leagues.
He built a bit of a reputation for losing his cool on the mound, which he has been working on, hoping he can channel his competitive nature into productive energy on the hill. He was 0-4 with a 5.03 ERA in ten starts with the Halos last year, but it’s all in the growing pains of becoming a major league starter.
Sandoval has great strikeout ability, he K’d 9.6 batters per nine innings last season, and that number is often in the double digits in the minors. He will need to learn how to manage his command as to not let a high walk rate offset his ability to miss bats.
Sandoval has mostly been used as a starter during his time in the Halo system, so he makes for a good candidate as a sixth man in the rotation versus an added bullpen arm in long relief where his appearances would be less consistent.