The Los Angeles Angels sit at 11-5-2 this spring. Obviously Spring Training records mean nothing, but the team has playaed some really solid baseball thus far.
Players the Angels expect to be getting a ton of playing time are producing. There have even been some surprises.
We've gone over the losers of Spring Training thus far, now let's look at those players who have jumped up the depth chart thanks to outstanding starts to their springs.
1. LA Angels pitcher Tucker Davidson looks to be leading the sixth starter race
Tucker Davidson was always going to get a legitimate shot at the sixth starter spot for a couple of reasons. First, he's out of options. If he doesn't make the team, he will be DFA'd and available for all other 29 teams to claim him. Additionally, he was the only real piece the Angels got in return for Raisel Iglesias. I get that the main objective of the Iglesias trade was to clear salary, but the Angels wanted to see what they had with Davidson before letting him go.
Davidson was going to get his shot to prove himself, but he, at least in my eyes, was seen as a pitcher with a lot of ground to cover to get this shot. He's done that with a remarkable spring.
The southpaw has made four starts and has allowed two earned runs in ten innings of work. Most notably in those 10 innings, he's walked just two batters while striking out 14. He's shown off a new-look slider which appears to have helped immensely, and he's displayed a newfound ability to throw strikes.
Davidson has done nothing at the MLB level to earn this sixth-starter role. He has a 5.99 ERA in his career in 18 appearances (17 starts). He had a 6.87 ERA with the Angels and walked almost as many batters (22) as he struck out (23) in 36.2 innings pitched. This can be concerning to Angels fans if he does end up winning the job, but, he's put himself in the lead for it with his spring training performance.
Davidson's status as a player out of options helps him immensely, and I'd be pretty shocked at this point if he doesn't go with the team to Oakland to work in that swingman sixth starter role.