What will the Angels’ rotation look like in 2020?
Injury-riddled would be an understatement in describing the starting rotation for the Los Angeles Angels over the last couple of seasons. The team used 19 different starting pitchers during the 2019 season, an increase over the 16 they used in the 2018 campaign. Over the course of their five-year playoff hiatus, the Angels have seen 32 different players take the ball to start games. During that span, the team’s starting pitchers have a cumulative record of 195-239, an ERA of 4.32, a FIP of 4.59, and have averaged just 5.42 innings per start since 2015.
So it was with no surprise that the team opted to make a huge effort to overhaul their rotation and add depth to a group that has shown a near-yearly need for it. The team was rumored to be in on the bidding for several top free agents, including Zack Wheeler, Gerrit Cole, and Stephen Strasburg, and kicked the tires on trades involving Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and even one that fell through with the Dodgers for Ross Stripling.
While they missed out on many of their larger pitching targets, the Angels did not come away empty-handed either. They secured trades for Dylan Bundy and Matt Andriese and signed free agent Julio Teheran to a one-year deal. While they lack the appeal of the likes of Wheeler, Cole, or Strasburg, the new trio provides the Angels with some veteran depth and potential upside at a relatively small cost.
Likewise, the team expects that both Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning will be able to contribute to a rotation that will be headed by Andrew Heaney. How many innings the team can get out of either will depend on where their respective rehabs are in the wake of the pandemic shutdown, but both are expected to serve large roles once they are turned loose for the season.
This is a group that could be talented, but as has been a question for several years, health will play a big factor in just how far the Angels can go in 2020.