The Los Angeles Angels will need a lot of players to step up in 2023 if they want to get back to the postseason. Stepping up can mean a couple of things. They need to play better, but they also need to stay on the field.
Guys like Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Jared Walsh can't be missing significant time. Young players like Jose Suarez and Reid Detmers have to take another step.
There're three players who struggled last season who we should temper expectations for. Others took steps forward and need to have the bar raised. Here're some players who should take a big leap in 2023.
1) LA Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval needs to prove he can be a front-line starter in 2023
Patrick Sandoval had a lot to prove in 2022. He had great promise but never made more than 14 starts in a season before. 2022 was the season for him to help anchor what was supposed to be an improved rotation.
Sandoval stepped up in a big way, posting a 2.91 ERA in 27 starts and 148.2 innings pitched. A sub-3.00 ERA is never something to complain about, but there's some untapped potential there for this southpaw.
Sandoval walks too many. His 3.6 BB/9 were a big reason he didn't go as deep into games as Angels fans would've liked. At times it felt like he was trying to execute the perfect pitch instead of trusting his stuff.
Sandoval has to limit walks and pitch deeper in games. He improved in both areas, albeit slightly, in the second half. If he can do this, the Angels will have a very formidable top-three in their rotation with Sandoval joining Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Anderson.