5 Angels players that must step up with Shohei Ohtani headed to the Dodgers

The Angels will add, but also need their players who are already on the team to increase their production.
Apr 11, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6)
Apr 11, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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4) Patrick Sandoval

It's not only the hitters who have to step up with Ohtani gone, the pitching staff is impacted in a big way as well. Ohtani was not only the best hitter on the team, but he was the ace of the rotation. That is what makes him Shohei Ohtani after all.

Even if he returned the Angels' rotation was going to have to step up since Ohtani will not be pitching in 2024, but with Ohtani gone the need is highlighted even more. The young arms this team has must take a step up. Patrick Sandoval should be the leader of that.

Sandoval looked like he had come into his own following a fantastic 2022 season. He set career-highs across the board, and looked like a future frontline starter for this Angels team. Sandoval took a major step back this past season, seeing his ERA rise by over one run and having all sorts of issues locating and fighting his way through jams.

Sandoval still pitched like a fine third or fourth starter, but if the season started tomorrow, he'd likely be the ace of this staff. He's 27 years old now and has to have a huge year for the Angels to think about being competitive. Yes, the team will presumably bring in an arm to slot in at the top, but Sandoval will be right behind him. It's time for him to pitch to his potential.