Chase Silseth’s final spring performance against Dodgers giving Angels ‘ace’ vibes

Are Angels fans sleeping on Chase Silseth?
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth (63)
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth (63) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Perry Minasian knows something we don't. The Los Angeles Angels were relatively inactive in free agency this past offseason. Aside from adding Robert Stephenson, the Halos essentially abandoned the idea of adding anyone on the open market this past winter.

But after several failed attempts to build a winner through free agency, maybe the Angels are taking a different approach this season. Building a team through smart drafting and shrewd trades has seen teams like the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and last year's NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks go from pretenders to contenders.

Chase Silseth was an 11th-round draft pick of the Angels back in 2021. Silseth was the first player from his draft class to make his major league debut, after pitching six scoreless innings in his first big league game. After watching his performance this past week against the Los Angeles Dodgers, perhaps Silseth offers the Angels something they haven't had in quite some time.

Chase Silseth’s final spring performance against Dodgers giving LA Angels ‘ace’ vibes

Silseth dominated the Dodgers batters. And this wasn't the B-squad as Silseth was striking out Shohei Ohtani, Teoscar Hernandez, and Max Muncy. Silseth logged five innigs of work and struck out 10 Dodgers hitters. His two earned runs came via the long ball as both Freddie Freeman and Will Smith took Silseth deep in the fourth inning. Those two homers, however, were bookended by Ks against Ohtani and Muncy.

The Angels starting rotation is shaky at best. While a lot of Angels fans will miss Ohtani's bat, it's the lack of the former MVP's presence on the mound that could cause problems for the Halos in 2024. But maybe LA has something in Silseth.

Silseth had a cup of coffee with the Angels in 2022 and split time between the big leagues and Triple-A Salt Lake in 2023. At both levels, Silseth struck out almost 10 batters per nine innings pitched. He did that in five innings during the final spring game on Tuesday.

Silseth has the type of arsenal that a lot of frontline starter possess. The right-hander has a four-pitch mix with an above-average fastball and a developing changeup. Silseth has always been knocked for his size, but starters like Marcus Stroman and Sonny Gray aren't 6-foot-4, 230-pounds either. If he can hold up to the rigors of going six-plus innings, the Angels have the makings of top tier starter.

Silseth has a long way to go before anyone would consider him an ace. However, the possibility exists for him to be the Angels' best pitcher this season. That's a great place for Silseth to be, but speaks volumes about the Halos starting rotation. No offense to Silseth, but a 23-year-old pitcher with 15 career starts should not be a team's ace. It does, however, allow him to grow into a leadership role and put him on the path to become an ace if he finds success.

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