Angels announce 2020 roster: Five biggest takeaways

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Angels, Patrick Sandoval
Patrick Sandoval, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Angels Roster Takeaways: Patrick Sandoval makes the starting rotation

Patrick Sandoval was late to camp due to a COVID-19 diagnosis and then subsequently didn’t arrive until there was just a little over a week remaining of summer. The assumption was that he wouldn’t have the time to be ready to start the team on the active roster.

I guess we were wrong.

When the initial roster was released on Thursday, not only had Sandoval made the initial 30-man group, but he had also managed to show he was ready to be named the Angels’ sixth starter. In the process, he managed to beat out both Felix Pena and Jaime Barria in the process. The former will return to the bullpen and the latter was subsequently left off the active roster.

For Sandoval, he apparently raced to the inside track on Wednesday, when he drew the final exhibition start against the Padres. Despite giving up five runs in three innings of work with only a single strike-out, Maddon liked what he saw from Sandoval.

"“I’m a big fan. I like his stuff. You saw fastball, curveball, slider and a really good changeup. He’s a little bit behind and he’s trying to play catch up and try to impress and all those different kinds of things. But from a talent-wise as a scout, you’re looking for guys like that all the time. I like him. I like his stuff.”"

Sandoval got off to a slow start during his rookie season but finished on a roll. In his final six starts, he managed a 3.68 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .173/.292/.360 batting line. Coupled with a 9.6 K/9 at the MLB level (and 14.4 in the minors), Sandoval has as much potential as any Angels’ pitching prospect.

Sandoval will likely make his first start at home, when the Angels host the Seattle Mariners on July 29th.