Starting pitching is becoming increasing expensive with each passing season. When fans see some of the massive paydays these hurlers are receiving, they begin to understand why drafting and development of an organization's pitching staff has become so important.
Reid Detmers represents the best starter in the Angels organization. The University of Louisville alum has been relatively durable during his first two seasons in the bigs and while he struggled at points thoughout the season, the left-hander showed improvement in several areas in 2023.
Detmers saw an increase in his strikeout rate while also focusing more on his breaking ball. After going to his slider just 25% of the time in 2022, the left-hander increased that usage to 32% last season and saw an uptick in velocity, according to Baseball Savant. With new pitching coach and former Angels player Barry Enright guiding the way, the hope is that he can continue to push Detmers and allow him to reach the lofty expectations that come from being a first-round pick.
The Angels best hitter from a season ago was also their best pitcher. With Shohei Ohtani no longer on the roster, LA will need someone to step in and take over that No. 1 role. Is Detmers up for the task?
Detmers is under team control for four more seasons, so the immediacy isn't there quite yet. But the sooner these types of deals are executed, the more money the team can conceivably save on the back end, which allows for the roster to be supplemented through free agency when the time comes.
The Los Angeles Angels allowed one of their own to walk out the door this past offseason. While Ohtani's deal is quite different than any other free agent in baseball history, it does signify the need for the Angels to keep their own players. They've done a good job doing so with Mike Trout, but securing some of these young players to smaller contract extensions could be the ticket to long-term success.