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LA Angels: It’s been a season of breakouts for the Halos

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) high fives teammates after scoring a run against the Oakland Athletics. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) high fives teammates after scoring a run against the Oakland Athletics. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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LA Angels, Raisel Iglesias
Jun 4, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias (32) celebrates at the end of the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After starters Dylan Bundy and Jose Quintana flamed out, and the bullpen was similarly unable to find consistency, several young arms have stepped up and joined Ohtani in an attempt to salvage what’s left of the pitching staff.

Youth has been the key to the LA Angels’ pitching success.

The most notable member of this group is Patrick Sandoval. After being transitioned from the pen to the rotation, he has excelled as one of the Angels’ best lefties.

Through eight starts, he’s rocking a solid 3.46 ERA and 1.224 WHIP. At just 24-years-old, Sandoval will undoubtedly factor into the Angels’ long-term plans for the rotation.

In a similar vein, fellow lefty Jose Suarez has also been turning heads this year.

The undisputed best reliever on the team, Suarez was absolutely dominant in his nine relief appearances. Capped off by a 5.1 inning masterpiece at Yankee Stadium, his ERA as a reliever was a miniscule 1.98.

While his first start of the year didn’t exactly go as planned (two runs in three innings against Boston), he’s done more than enough to remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

Finally, closing things out (no pun intended) is Raisel Iglesias. While not technically a young buck like Sandoval and Suarez, you wouldn’t know that from the way he’s pitching.

Don’t let his early faults fool you. Since the middle of May, Iglesias has been in the midst of one of the best stretches of his entire career.

The hard throwing closer is currently third in the AL with 18 saves.

Enabling this success is one of deadliest pitching arsenals in all of baseball. Using his devastating four-seamer, slider and changeup, Iglesias has made a mockery of some of the game’s best hitters.

Sporting the best whiff rate in the league (43.3%), Iglesias has struck out over 40% of all batters he’s faced this year, by far the highest percentage of his career.

Sure, he has had a bit of trouble with the long ball, having given up nine home runs in 40.1 innings, but when it’s this hard to make contact against him in the first place, this is almost a non-issue.

All told, with Trout expected to return right after the All-Star break, the Angels are in a better position than many realize.

Next. 3 overperforming pitchers in first half for Angels

With a crucial stretch of games coming up vs. the Mariners and the Athletics, the Halos are heating up at the perfect time. Should things continue to go their way, they might just approach the trade deadline with an eye towards reaching the postseason this year.

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