The Los Angeles Angels have an open competition for their sixth starter job. One of the candidates is Chase Silseth. Despite being just 22 years old and being drafted in 2021, Silseth already has big league experience and is as legitimate a candidate as there is for this spot.
Silseth probably isn't the favorite because of his inexperience, but he's absolutely someone who should be considered. He will all but likely make starts at some point for this team even if he isn't on the Opening Day roster.
Silseth made seven starts for the Angels last season. He didn't pitch well, posting a 6.59 ERA, but he showed some encouraging stuff in his first Spring Training start of the season including the introduction of a new pitch.
New pitch can help Chase Silseth win the Angels sixth starter job
Chase Silseth has added a cutter to his repertoire which already had five pitches. Last season he threw his four-seamer at a 40.1% clip, his split-finger 27.3% of the time, his slider 21.6% of the time, his new sinker 6.2% of the time, and his curveball 4.8% of the time.
Silseth's first start of the spring wasn't his best. He allowed two runs on three hits in two innings pitched. The most frustrating part of his day was not finishing innings. He had two outs with runners in scoring position in both innings and gave up the back-breaking hits both times.
While he wasn't at his complete best, there were signs of encouragement. First, he struck out four batters in two innings. Three of the four were with his new cutter, which he said he threw about 13 or 14 times.
Silseth, similar to Shohei Ohtani, has a fastball which is good, averaging 95.4 mph last season, but straight. Adding in a pitch that'll look similar to a fastball but be slightly slower and move a little bit should work well for him.
The pitch clearly threw Brewers hitters off guard and could help him win this sixth starter job if he continues to have success with it. Obviously production has to be there, but there was a lot to like even with the two runs allowed.