The offseason is approaching its ending, with February just days away and Los Angeles Angels pitchers and catchers reporting to Tempe, Arizona in a matter of weeks. It's been a long offseason for Angels fans who have seen their team lose Shohei Ohtani and despite an improved bullpen, look worse on paper than the 73-win team they trotted out last season.
The Angels are looking to be competitive in 2024 under Ron Washington, but in such a difficult division and league with a roster that does not include the reigning AL MVP, how feasible is that?
For the Angels to be the competitive team they hope, these three players will have to step up and earn the trust of the fanbase.
1) Patrick Sandoval
Patrick Sandoval broke out in a big way in the 2022 season, posting a sub-3.00 ERA and looking like a future all-star. It looked like he had shown improvements over the offseason, pitching extremely well on the big stage in the WBC, but his performance there just did not translate over to the regular season.
Sandoval didn't have a bad season by any means, posting a 4.11 ERA in 28 starts and 144.2 innings pitched, but it sure was an uneven and inconsistent one to say the least.
The southpaw would have outings where he'd be on the top of his game and look like an ace, and he'd have outings that would feel like a slog to get through and he'd be pulled before the fifth inning due to high pitch counts.
Angels fans know Sandoval has talent. When he's able to locate his pitches and stay under control he can be very good. However, it's hard to trust him when every other starts he lets one bad play snowball an entire game. Angels fans need to see more consistency from a guy who could easily be taking the ball on Opening Day.