There is no secret that the LA Angels are looking for starting pitching and based on the reports, they have money to spend this off-season.
The team really needs all the help they can get and with so much depth in terms of young arms, the LA Angels need more than an Ace. They need someone that isn’t afraid of defending teammates, of leading the rotation, and becoming a mentor. Marcus Stroman looks to fill all of those roles.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has also even reported that the Angels are indeed players for the star pitcher.
LA Angels could use someone that faced adversity in Marcus Stroman
What has been one of the main problems the LA Angels have had internally? Staying healthy, and Marcus Stroman is no stranger to his own issues dealing with injuries. He tore his ACL in 2015 and has molded into one of the top free agents this off-season.
He can be somebody the rotation can turn to when someone has a serious injury and is on the road to coming back, someone like Chris Rodriguez, who is already going to miss time with a serious injury.
There is also his notable height difference from other pitchers on the mound and he’s been able to use it as a weapon. He coined the phrase “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart,” and it’s seemed to work out for him so far in his career, as he’s been one of the more effective starting pitchers on the free-agent market. And with All-Star pitcher Jacob deGrom going on the shelf in the final three months of the season, Stroman became the ace of the staff and led the charge by posting ace-type numbers.
Marcus Stroman puts up numbers the LA Angels need
Now getting into the numbers part of it, Marcus Stroman doesn’t just provide the veteran presence. He also backs it up by dominating on the mound. According to an article by MLB.com, Stroman started 149 games since 2016 and posted a 3.69 ERA across 870 2/3 innings pitched. It goes on to further explain that only eight pitchers have started more games and posted an ERA under 4.00 within the same span that Stroman did.
This just further proves that Stroman is the type of pitcher that not only gives you length, but he provides quality as well. The only knock on him would be that he gives up loud contact which in turn would relate to giving up the long ball.
The article goes in-depth with exactly how often Stroman gives up hard contact which is 42.2%. That’s a lot if you’re comparing him to other elite starting pitchers.
Another thing that bodes well for Stroman is his ability to generate ground-balls, which he generated at 52.6% in 2021. Early in the season, it looked as if the Angels were primed for a great defensive year in the infield, however, former Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias failed to make any improvements at that position. The one thing they did have going for them is that both David Fletcher and Jared Walsh were nominated for Gold Gloves for their 2021 seasons, and while neither of them won, it should be recognized that their defense was enough to be nominated for the prestigious award.
While the Angels have a lot of young pitching depth within their system, it can only carry them so far without a true veteran leading the rotation. Stroman not only fits the category of veteran, but he’s an ace as well with the numbers to back it up. His unique personality will give life to the team with an already entertaining superstar in Shohei Ohtani.
And his experience dealing with injuries makes him the perfect mentor for the pitching staff.