LA Angels 2021 spring training guide: who gets the final rotation spots?

Alex Cobb (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Alex Cobb (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Jaime Barria, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The Angels rotation has stood out as a glaring need for quite some time, without being addressed in any meaningful way.

This team has ‘been in the mix’ and has missed out on both of the last two top free-agent starting pitchers. The last time the Angels made a big splash in signing a starting pitcher was C.J. Wilson in 2011.

The Halos are reported to still show an interest in Jake Odorizzi, but whether or not any additions happen remains to be seen.

To accommodate Shohei Ohtani’s two-way schedule, the Angels have implemented a six-man rotation when he has been healthy. There are two objectives with this strategy; the first is to maximize Ohtani’s opportunities to serve as the designated hitter; and secondly, and most importantly, is to minimize injury risk by giving pitchers more rest between starts.

The Angels will have a number of different options competing for a spot in the rotation this spring.

No matter how much you try to minimize this risk, it will always be prevalent. This is a well-known and frustrating fact among Angels fans from recent years. To combat this, the Angels’ front office has set out to improve their depth. They have signed Jose Quintana and traded for Alex Cobb. Neither move jumps off the page as exciting, but at the same time, they didn’t sacrifice their young, semi-capable MLB arms, such as Patrick Sandoval and Jaime Barria, in doing so.

The way I see it, heading into spring training, four of the six rotation spots are secured. Leading the way will be 2020 breakout ace Dylan Bundy, lefty Andrew Heaney, rising star Griffin Canning, and two-way sensation Ohtani. Let’s take a look at the possible candidates to fill out the final two spots.