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Who are the candidates for the Angels’ six-man rotation?

Patrick Sandoval. Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Patrick Sandoval. Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
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Angels, Andrew Heaney
Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Angels Six-Man Rotation – Andrew Heaney

If there has been one pitcher on the Angels staff that has been beyond frustrating, it has been Andrew Heaney. A former-top 50 prospect, Heaney has seemingly always been a “what if” question for the Halos. In fairness to the lefty, that hasn’t always been a fault of his own.

After making 18 starts and going 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA and a 6.6 K/9 in 2015, the Angels expected a lot of Heaney from that point forward. However, elbow issues arose in 2016 and after a plasma injection failed, he underwent Tommy John surgery and would make a total of six starts between 2016 and 2017.

Things appeared back on track in 2018, as Heaney put the health concerns behind him and made 30 starts for the first time in his career. While the 9-10 record was a product of a team that struggled in its own right, Heaney’s 4.15 ERA, 3.99 FIP, and 9.0 K/9 were all encouraging. However, elbow issues arose again in spring training 2019 and he was shut down not once, but twice before making his season debut on May 26th. Ultimately Heaney made 18 starts last season, but was largely ineffective, posting a 4.91 ERA, a 4.63 FIP, and a 4-6 record, lasting on average a little over five innings per start.

While a shortened season and a six-man rotation will certainly help Heaney in the health department, his ability to get outs on the mound will be under a microscope in 2020. With a $4.30 million salary for 2020 (before proration) and arbitration eligibility for the final time next winter, he could become a non-tender candidate should the struggles continue and the economic picture remain bleak.

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