Entering the 2023 season, the starting rotation finally felt like a strength for the Los Angeles Angels. It had taken years to get to this point, but the rotation had such a promising 2022 season, and looked poised to be even better in 2023.
The Angels ranked sixth in all of baseball with a 3.67 rotation ERA. They ranked behind just the Dodgers, Astros, Rays, Yankees, and Mets, five postseason teams including the World Series champions. This season has been a whole other story. The Angels rotation has a 4.58 ERA, good for 19th in the majors. It's nearly a run higher and has gone from top-six in the league to a bottom half rotation in just one year.
The Tyler Anderson addition, even with him pitching better of late, hasn't helped in that regard. However, the bigger disappointment is the failure for young arms to develop. Patrick Sandoval has regressed, Jose Suarez regressed heavily when healthy, even Shohei Ohtani who isn't really young anymore had had a rocky year on the mound. The biggest culprit of this is Reid Detmers who had yet another rough outing on Friday night in Houston.
LA Angels need to send Reid Detmers down after latest flop on the mound
Reid Detmers entered the season with a ton of promise. He showed many signs of eventually developing into a frontline starter last season. Of course, it started with the no-hitter he threw against the Rays. That was great, but it was his second half performance that really excited the Angels fan base.
The team was out of postseason contention for the entirety of the second half, but Reid Detmers gave fans reasons to watch, at least when he pitched. The southpaw pitched extremely well down the stretch, and being just 23 years old at the time, there looked like a lot to look forward to.
In the second half, Detmers posted a 3.36 ERA in 11 starts, nearly a full run lower than his 4.11 ERA in 14 first half starts. That 4.11 ERA included the no-hitter. Detmers went from awfully inconsistent, to consistently solid. His WHIP was higher, but he was striking out more batters in the second half and had allowed just two home runs compared to his 11 in the first half.
That second half gave Angels fans hope that he'd settle in nicely in the middle of this rotation and be reliable every sixth day. Unfortunately, outside of one solid stretch, Detmers has had a miserable year. After allowing seven runs in 2.2 innings pitched, Detmers has a 5.27 ERA in 21 starts. He's allowed 14 runs in his last 6.2 innings pitched, on the strength of five home runs.
The Angels are expected to get Griffin Canning back in short order, so they'd need to adjust their rotation anyway. Chase Silseth is pitching too well at this point to be removed, so Canning should simply replace Detmers.
The Angels sent the southpaw down last season for a brief period, and he responded as well as they could've hoped. He went down to Salt Lake, made one start, struck out 14 in a six inning gem, and found his way back up the following week. He had a 3.04 ERA in his 13 starts after coming up from the minors.
While the talent is there, it's clear that Detmers still has more growing to do. Sending him down isn't only the best move for the team, but it could also help Detmers work on some things and become the pitcher we all expect him to be.