LA Angels problem we didn't expect to be so bad: The starting rotation
The back end of the rotation has been discussed. I expected it to be bad, and it is. The rest of the rotation, however, was supposed to be what carried this team.
Shohei Ohtani, after a roaring start, is in the midst of the worst pitching slump of his career. I fully expect him to snap out of it, but the home run ball has crushed him in the last month.
Patrick Sandoval remains as inconsistent as ever. He followed up his best start of the season in Cleveland with a clunker at home against the Twins. Sandoval did well to limit the damage, but he didn't pitch well. He still struggles to give consistent length, which is an issue for a number two starter.
Tyler Anderson, the Angels big-ticket free agent signing, has had his own issues. Home runs are up, walks are way up, and he looks nowhere near the pitcher he was in 2022. Nobody expected a repeat of that, but a 5.27 ERA in eight starts is unacceptable.
Reid Detmers, a pitcher a lot of experts predicted to break out this season, has taken a step back. His ERA sits at 4.87 through eight starts and he has glaring issues facing lineups more than once. In innings 1-3, he has a 2.25 ERA. In innings 4-6, he has an 8.82 ERA. Starts games off well before inevitably blowing up in the middle.
The Angels have a 5.01 rotation ERA. A large part of that is thanks to the struggles of Suarez and Canning, but the rest of this rotation has taken a huge step back. Each one of the four starters talked about here has been worse than last season, and that's a huge issue. The Angels get virtually no length every night which then forces them to overuse a mediocre to bad bullpen.
The Angels were sixth in rotation ERA last season and are 24th this season. The offense is better, the bullpen is better, but the rotation has regressed in a big way. Considering how young the rotation was, and the fact that they replaced Michael Lorenzen with a guy who had a sub-3.00 ERA last season, I thought it'd be right back where it was in 2022. This has been the biggest disappointment without a doubt.