2. The young Angels cannot take a step back
2022 was mostly a lost season for the Angels but one bright spot from the season was the improvement of their young pitchers. Patrick Sandoval had an era below 3.00 in 27 starts. He did this despite walking too many batters. Sandoval has to improve his command and pitch deeper into games, as he likely won't have the success he did have last season if he walks close to four batters per nine.
Reid Detmers shaved his ERA by almost a full run in the second half, as he posted a 4.11 ERA in the first half followed by a 3.36 ERA in the second half. Detmers finally showed an ability to pitch deeper into games consistently, and started striking batters out at a high level as well. That went from 7.3/9 in the first half to 9.9/9 in the second half. For the Angels to get back to the postseason, Detmers has to be the second half pitcher.
Jose Suarez is the wildcard of this rotation. We really don't know what he is. He was awful in the first half, but outstanding in the second half. He had a 5.60 first-half ERA followed by a 2.80 ERA in the second half. The poor competition Suarez faced definitely had something to do with that, but he did look like a legitimate starting pitcher. Since the Angels did not pick up another starting pitcher after Tyler Anderson, Suarez has to be a viable option. He doesn't have to pitch to a 2.80 ERA, but he does have to be usable, unlike that first half.
Sandoval is 26, Detmers is 23, Suarez is 25. The Angels need these guys to keep developing for them to punch their ticket to the postseason.