LA Angels 2021 spring training guide: predicting the starting rotation

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Of the current Angels starters who will be used in a projected rotation, I believe Griffin Canning will round out the group as a No.5 and Andrew Heaney as the No.4 man.

Griffin Canning RHP

Just 24-years old, Canning carries some upside into the 2021 season. Barring the unforseen, the right-hander will enter is first full major league season for the Halos.

Griffin Canning Career Statistics (2 seasons):

  • 2019: (18 games, 17 starts) (4.58 ERA) 90.1 IP 1.218 WHIP
  • 2020: (11 starts) (3.99 ERA) 56.1 IP 1.367 WHIP

Like many of the current Angels starters, Canning will need to improve his ability to work deep into ballgames as a starter. The right-hander pitched beyond the fifth inning just four times in his 11 starts last season.

Griffin Canning and Andrew Heaney will likely round out the bottom of the Angels rotation.

Andrew Heaney LHP

Entering his age 30 season, Andrew Heaney is a pitcher who is playing into the potential prime years of his career.

The left-hander agreed to a $6.75 million deal in his final year of arbitration. Playing for a contract in the season before becoming a free agent will be an extra motivator for Heaney and the other three Angels starters.

Up to this point in his big league tenure, the Halos are still waiting for Heaney to take the next steps in living up to the potential he carried as a ninth overall pick in 2012.

Andrew Heaney Last 3 Seasons:

  • 2018: (30 starts) (9-10, 4.15 ERA) 180 IP 1.200 WHIP
  • 2019: (18 starts) (4-6, 4.91 ERA) 95.1 IP 1.290 WHIP
  • 2020: (12 starts) (4-3, 4.46 ERA) 66.2 IP 1.230 WHIP

I think Heaney will begin this season as a starter but will be on a short leash. Last season, Heaney threw four quality starts in his 12 outings, so there is no question the potential is there.