The Los Angeles Angels signed Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal. This signing gave the Angels a reliable starter to put at the front of their rotation behind Shohei Ohtani. It also secured the fifth starter in what should be a really good rotation.
The Angels have used a six-man rotation during Shohei Ohtani's tenure with the club and I don't expect that to change this season.
Do the Angels have the sixth starter already in the organization?
The Angels have a lot of pitchers who have started big league games before who aren't projected to be in the Opening Day rotation. If they don't sign anyone and go with a six-man rotation, one of these starters would be in the rotation.
The most obvious candidate for it is Griffin Canning. This right-hander missed the entire 2022 season due to injury. He made at least 11 starts in each season from 2019-2021, making as many as 17 starts in 2019.
Canning has been a fine back-end starter for the most part. He walks too many (3.5 BB/9) but strikes out a good amount (9.2 K/9). The home run ball (1.5 HR/9) has really been what's come back to bite him.
Canning really struggled in 2021 posting a 5.60 ERA. After missing all of 2022 with this being our last memory of him, I'd be disappointed if he was in the Opening Day rotation.
Chris Rodriguez has looked pretty decent when he's gotten a shot in the bigs but he's only started two games and hasn't been great in the minors (4.78 career MiLB ERA). He's too inexperienced for my liking.
The same can be said about the other candidates including Tucker Davidson, Chase Silseth, Janson Junk, and Kenny Rosenberg.
Davidson was acquired from the Braves last season and made 11 starts but looked horrible. Silseth made seven starts and didn't look great either.
The Angels have a bunch of pitchers who appear to be on the cusp of being ready for the bigs but aren't quite there yet. Canning is the only guy with a realistic shot at the rotation, but I'd like for them to look externally for the final arm.
If the Angels want to make the postseason, relying on a guy who just missed a full year after being bad the season prior isn't the way to go. These guys can be fine as depth options, but only if needed. They shouldn't be relied upon to be more than that. The bullpen though is a completely different conversation.