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
Alex Cobb (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Alex Cobb-RHP

Highlighting the Angels ‘biggest’ offseason additions was a trade for the veteran Alex Cobb.

The Halos sent No.7 prospect Jahmai Jones to Baltimore in exchange for Cobb and $10 million. The Angels will cover $5 million of Cobb’s 2021 salary.

It’s been seven seasons since Cobb has posted high-level statistics. From 2013-2014 the right-hander posted a 2.82 ERA and 1.145 WHIP in 309.2 innings.

Since then, injuries and ineffectiveness have impacted Cobb.

Alex Cobb Last 3 Seasons:

  • 2018: (28 starts) 4.90 ERA 152.1 IP 1.411 WHIP
  • 2019: (3 starts) 10.95 ERA 12.1 IP 1.865 WHIP
  • 2020: (10 starts) 4.30 ERA 52.1 IP 1.338 WHIP

An earned run average above four isn’t elite by any means, but it’s a step in the right direction for Cobb.

The 33-year old has been spoken highly of by Maddon. The pair spent time together in Tampa Bay when Cobb was crucial in helping the Rays reach the postseason.

Can Alex Cobb be an effective starter for the Angels in 2021?

A high ground-ball rate (53.1% in 2020) is among the other positives the Angels will bank on for Cobb this season. If he can stay healthy, the plan is for the right-hander to do just enough to eat innings and keep the Halos in ballgames.

On a more competitive roster, I’d pencil in Cobb as a bottom of the rotation starter. I don’t think Canning nor Heaney have done enough to surpass Cobb, though that could change depending on spring performances.

Lefty-righty flips are also something to consider, but for now, I’d have Cobb as the Angels No.3 starter.