This is where Ohtani will be huge as he could be that ace fans have been clamoring for. With Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, and Alex Cobb being solid thus far this season, the Angels have the makings of an average to above average staff for the first time in awhile.
I’m not discounting Griffin Canning, but we need to see more than one start to mark him as a solid starter, but he definitely has the potential to be that as a 5th starter.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani can help pick up some of the slack in the starting rotation.
The only disappointment has been Jose Quintana, but he looked much better Wednesday in his third start against the Rangers going five innings allowing only two hits and one run while striking out eight Rangers. Quintana is a veteran who I think will be adequate in the rotation as well.
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Let’s not forget about the rebuilt Angels bullpen that has been very good for the most part this season. Mike Mayers (other than Wednesday) and Chris Rodriguez have pretty much lights out as set-up men and Raisel Iglesias has had a few bumps, but overall has been solid too. In addition Alex Claudio, Steve Cishek, and Tony Watson have given the Angels two lefty-specialists and a reliable veteran in Cishek they can plug-in almost anywhere as he has been a closer, set-up man, and long man during his MLB career.
Junior Guerra, Aaron Slegers, and Ben Rowen have also shown flashes of brilliance this season. The only man in the bullpen that has an ERA above 4.00 is Iglesias and that was due in large part to one bad outing against the White Sox early in the season where he gave up two runs in only 0.1 innings. He has a stellar WHIP of 1.110 and struck out 11 batters with only one walk 6.1 innings.
So now you can see why I am so optimistic on the early season performances by this Angels team. Right field is an issue since Dexter Fowler went down for the season, but I believe that Joe Maddon will find the right mix there even if he has to wait for Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh to get a little bit of confidence in Triple-A first before he brings them up to Anaheim.
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I know it’s still super early, but I think there is something special brewing in Anaheim that may end up in a Red October. We will see.