The Los Angeles Angels have the makings of a really solid rotation. Their top four of Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, and Reid Detmers can rival any top four based on how they pitched in 2022. The problem is, after those four there are question marks.
Jose Suarez finished the 2022 season on a good note with a 2.81 ERA in 11 second-half starts, but I'd feel much more comfortable with the southpaw in the sixth starter spot. His success mostly came against inferior competition and he struggled mightily facing hitters for a third time in a start as they slashed .391/.455/.667 with five home runs in 69 at-bats in those situations. Suarez was mostly fine through the first four innings but fell apart in the fifth and sixth.
The sixth spot is even more uncertain. The front runners are likely guys like Griffin Canning and Chase Silseth. While both pitchers can be good, it would've been nice to have a veteran like Michael Wacha plugged into the back end of the rotation just to give the Angels another arm to round out the staff.
Angels leave incomplete rotation as Michael Wacha heads to San Diego
It's uncertain as of now what the terms of this deal are, and I'm confident Wacha won't be as good as he was in 2022, but he still would've been a useful arm to bring in. The Angels could try to sign someone like Michael Pineda or Mike Minor for that final spot but I'd rather they go internal over those guys.
The trade market could be another possibility but again, the Angels lack many assets and I'm not sure how willing teams will be to trade away starting pitching right before pitchers and catchers report.
The way things look right now, they failed to fully round out their rotation. There are simply too many risks surrounding guys like Griffin Canning who hasn't pitched in a year and a half and Chase Silseth who has a 6.59 ERA in seven big league starts and zero innings in AAA.
The Angels' rotation as a whole is solid, because of how good the top four is. After the top four, there are serious questions. Hopefully, the offense can step up and help the Halos win those games.