Angels manager Joe Maddon sees the glaring need for starting pitching and expressed his hopes that the front office grants his wish.
The Halos will enter the 2021 season with a lot of uncertainty to go around. The team will likely enter the season deploying a six-man rotation, a system that will even further demonstrate their glaring weakness. Dylan Bundy is a truly revitalized pitcher and figures to be an excellent piece to the puzzle once again for the Halos. We might see a Shohei Ohtani revival in 2021, as well. Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning can both be above-average arms when they are on their game. However, that’s only four pitchers the Angels can trust — they need six.
As Joe Maddon stated to MLB Network Radio, the Angels need two more starting pitchers to add to the core.
"“We do need to attract two starting pitchers to come to us — to combine with what we already have.”"
As mentioned, the Angels are about two above-average starting pitchers away from having a solid six-man rotation. Manager Joe Maddon doesn’t believe they are the only team looking to use a six-man rotation in 2021, though:
"“I don’t think it has been spoken about enough…the burden on starters this year based on last year, you’re going to see a lot of teams looking for six-man rotations this year. You’re looking for teams to give pitchers days off over the course of the season, just kind of a rotation situation if in fact we get back to 162 [games]. There’s a lot of things you have to consider that are different heading into this year than any other year.”"
Given this line of thinking, the Angels will have tons of competition to acquire starting pitching this off-season, whether it be in free agency or on the trade market. That’s not a very good thing considering the financial constraint that the Angels and owner Arte Moreno are already under with contracts like Justin Upton and Albert Pujols on the books. The Angels are also paying Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon a pretty penny apiece, so fans need to exercise cautious optimism with the winter of 2020-2021.
Joe Maddon also mentioned that he has been in close contact with newly-hired general manager Perry Minasian, a clear-cut sign that the organization is in sync at all levels. That type of symmetry could bode well for the Angels as an organization as they head into a pivotal year.