Angels rotation plan if Shohei Ohtani brings good news and bad news

Choosing not to fortify a bad rotation after potentially losing your best starter is not the choice the Angels should be making.
Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Ever since the Los Angeles Angels signed Shohei Ohtani, the team has been using a six-man rotation when he's been healthy. This makes sense as Ohtani was pitching with more rest in Japan, and adjusting to a traditional five-man rotation while also having to worry about hitting is not an easy task for anyone.

If Ohtani leaves, fans have been wondering what the status will be with the rotation. Will they go back to a traditional five-man staff with Ohtani gone, or will they remain with six starters because that's what Angels pitchers are used to?

Not only did Perry Minasian say they feel comfortable going to a five-man rotation in this article from Jeff Fletcher of the OCR, he believes that "the arms we have in-house can handle it". Switching to a five-man staff is good, but relying on this group of arms is, well, not great.

Sounds like the LA Angels will not be making any big starting pitcher splash

Switching to a traditional rotation with five starters is absolutely a good thing. It's hard enough for a team, especially this one, to build a formidible rotation of five starters. It's even harder to do that with six, and that's not even including all of the depth arms you need. The bad news that comes from this is Minasian's trust that the rotation can survive with the arms they already have.

If the Angels remain true to their word and don't make starting pitching additions, the team will presumably have a rotation that consists of Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, Griffin Canning, Tyler Anderson, and one of Jose Suarez, Jaime Barria, Chase Silseth, or Kenny Rosenberg. Yikes.

I like the potential guys like Detmers and Sandoval have, but neither have proven to be any sort of consistent. Griffin Canning had a nice return year but he's nothing more than a fourth starter in a good rotation. Tyler Anderson had a horrific year. And you're grasping at straws for a fifth starter.

The Angels were 19th in the majors with a 4.47 starting pitcher ERA. That's including a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts that they got from Ohtani. Will things be better with a new coaching staff? Maybe. But they couldn't have gotten much worse.

The rotation will be young and has some talent, but they've proven nothing at the big league level. It's definitely less than ideal when there are many solid options in this year's free agency class.