The Angels (12-11) have been good so far, but there’s no denying they could be greater had they gotten some better performances from their starting pitching. It’s an issue that’s plagued this franchise for years and the story is no different this season. In order to fix this, general manager Perry Minasian could find help externally via trade, but the short term answer may already be on the current roster.
When looking at the numbers, the Halos starting staff has been among the worst in baseball. Collectively, they have MLB’s worst ERA (5.82) and the fourth-fewest innings pitched (106.2).
If there is any silver lining with this group, it’s the underlying advanced metrics that suggests maybe they’ve run into some bad luck along the way.
The Angels have MLB’s 12th-best Fielding Independent Pitching (3.87 FIP), the lowest hard-hit percentage (35.5%), and the fourth-lowest exit velocity (87.8 MPH).
All of that data suggests that good things could be on the way, even if the traditional numbers aren’t showing good productivity. Normally, I think there would be little to worry about since it’s still early and some of those ERA numbers are inflated with a handful of bad starts and inherited runs.
Change could be coming soon in the Angels starting rotation.
However, I don’t think the track record of this starting group is a reason for Minasian and owner Arte Moreno to sit back with their hands behind their heads while letting the situation play out just because the empirical evidence suggests things will fix themselves.
Asking Shohei Ohtani to be the savior of the rotation is too much and unfair given his injury history and lack of starts, five, since 2018. The most important thing for him right now is to find comfort being back on the mound.
Veterans like Jose Quintana and Alex Cobb were suppose to be the most reliable, but they’ve been anything but that. Given their history, they may get a bit of a longer leash before a move to the bullpen or DFA is considered.
That leaves the odd man out to be Griffin Canning with his 8.40 ERA and 7.02 FIP. He’s only in his third big-league season and has minor league options left.
The Halos wouldn’t close the door on Canning completely, but would give him an opportunity to work on some things while getting productivity from one of the following pitchers.