When building the 2021 starting rotation, LA Angels General Manager Perry Minasian placed a lot of emphasis on acquiring veteran talent. Bringing in the likes of Dylan Bundy, Alex Cobb and Jose Quintana, the Halos starting six skewed noticeably older than it had in years past. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, the results haven’t been too encouraging.
Needless to say, don’t expect any of these three to return next year. Likewise, despite showing signs of promise over the years, it’s looking less and less likely that the Angels will bring back soon-to-be free agent Andrew Heaney for an eighth season.
Luckily, as we approach the midway point of the season, the pieces are already coming together to give the rotation a much-needed makeover next season in the form of some promising young pitchers.
The name of the game in 2022 will be youth for the LA Angels rotation.
In all likelihood, the only two carryovers from the 2021 Opening Day rotation will be its youngest members: Shohei Ohtani (26 years old) and Griffin Canning (25).
While Ohtani’s talents are already a given, I believe that the Angels will give Canning another shot in the rotation, due in part to his decent success from 2019-2020 and the fact that he’s still on a cheap rookie contract.
Patrick Sandoval (24) has also likely earned a spot in the 2022 rotation after doing tremendous work filling for Cobb and Quintana when they hit the IL. If he continues to improve as he gains more regular starts, expect him to take another huge step forward next year.
Before moving on, it is important to note that the Angels could (and probably will) bring on a solid veteran arm to serve as senior in this rotation. Whether he be an older Max Scherzer type or a younger guy like German Marquez, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the rest of the starting six will feature plenty of exciting young throwers.