A big reason the Los Angeles Angels have failed to make the postseason or even finish with a winning record in each of the last eight seasons is because the organization has failed to develop pitching.
The development looks a bit more promising now than it did five or so years ago with guys like Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, Griffin Canning, and even Chase Silseth showing flashes of being capable big league starters. In the bullpen the Angels have done a nice job with guys like Jose Soriano and Ben Joyce.
Chris Rodriguez was one pitcher the Angels seemed to be doing a good job with as well. Unfortunately, injuries have really gotten the best of him the last couple of years.
Chris Rodriguez suffering another setback has LA Angels fans wondering "what if"
Chris Rodriguez made his MLB debut in the 2021 season, making 15 appearances and two starts for the Angels. He had a 3.64 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched and fanned 29 batters. The hard-throwing Rodriguez is armed with a sinker with a ton of movement and a curveball that had a 34% whiff rate in his MLB appearances. Those are his two best pitches.
Rodriguez was mainly a starter in the minors but had success working out of the bullpen for the Angels. I believed keeping him as a reliever this season would give him the best chance of simply staying healthy, but injuries remain a huge concern. He was finally able to pitch in a minor league game earlier this month before having to shut it down again due to more shoulder troubles.
As of now, it's hard to argue that Rodriguez should keep his spot on the 40-man roster. He made three minor league rehab appearances but struggled, and is now hurt again. The potential is clearly there, but wondering whether he'll ever be healthy is something Angels brass must try and figure out.
Hopefully Rodriguez can find a way to stay healthy at some point because he is supremely talented. He's an arm the Angels have been excited about for years and it's a shame he's been unable to stay on the field. For now, we can only wonder how good he'd be if he could stay healthy.