Angels Opening Day: 5 Key Storylines to watch in 2020

Los Angeles Angels hats (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Angels hats (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Angels, Griffin Canning
Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Angels Top Storylines: Can the pitching staff stay healthy in 2020?

As with any season, the Angels hopes will hinge on the ability of their pitching staff to take the ball every fifth day. Well, every sixth day under the Shohei Ohtani rules anyway.

The Halos staff has been heavily maligned over the past several seasons, to the point where the team added a ton of depth to their staff over the past winter. The general hope is that the team can get through the 60-game slate without a pitching injury. If it can do that and remain relatively productive, they stand a good chance of competing in 2020.

That is a big if.

The Angels will start the year off without offseason addition Julio Teheran, who missed all of summer camp after a COVID-19 diagnosis and likewise won’t have him available until the second or third week of the season. However, they came out of the long delay otherwise unscathed. The delay may even have benefited the team a bit.

Ohtani, who has been unable to pitch over the last year-plus after Tommy John surgery in September 2018, was originally slated to miss the first few months of the season. However, the delay allowed him to be fully ready to go and he’s slated to start the season’s third game in Oakland.

The other question mark during spring training was Griffin Canning. He experienced elbow issues at the end of 2019 and had a setback during the team’s first camp in February. After a PRP injection and restarting his throwing program from scratch, Canning is also fully healthy and part of the Angels rotation to start 2020. He looked impressive in his last preseason test, throwing six innings of three-hit ball and tallying five strikeouts and two walks against the Padres on July 20th.

If those two can stay healthy, and the additions of Dylan Bundy and Teheran prove fruitful, the Angels could be tough to contend with.