Last LA Angels roster decisions are going down to the wire for some reason

What's left to iron out?
Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington (left) with general manager Perry Minasian
Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington (left) with general manager Perry Minasian / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ready or not, Angels fans, Opening Day is almost here. This will be the first time since 2018 that Shohei Ohtani hasn't been part of the Los Angeles Angels roster. Though, with the current media circus surrounding the reigning AL MVP, maybe things are better off this way (but probably not).

The Angels roster is set, right? There couldn't possibly be any more decisions that have to made, correct? So why haven't the Halos made the appropriate transactions ahead of Thursday's date with the Baltimore Orioles? Angels Manager Ron Washington said late last week, “There are still things we have to decide. And we’re not going to decide them until we get out to L.A.”

After Friday's transactions, the Angels Opening Day roster is all but set in stone. The outfield of Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, and Mickey Moniak will take the field on Thursday with Jo Adell and Aaron Hicks likely starting the season on the bench.

Last LA Angels roster decisions are going down to the wire for some reason

The Angels infield is ready to go. Believe it or not, Anthony Rendon is healthy for Opening Day. Though he's only appeared in 200 games throughout his Angels career and missed some time earlier this spring, all signs point to Rendon lining up at the hot corner for the Halos.

The rest of Angels infield will consist of Nolan Schanuel at first base, a combination of Brandon Drury and Luis Rengifo at second base, and Zach Neto at shortstop. Logan O'Hoppe and Matt Thaiss will handle catching duties, which leaves just one spot in the Halos lineup. One of Miguel Sanó or Ehire Adrianza will have their contract selected sometime this week, with the former Minnesota Twins All-Star first baseman likely to snag that final roster spot.

The starting rotation, like it or not, will be Patrick Sandoval followed by Griffin Canning, Reid Detmers, Chase Silseth, and Tyler Anderson. Given that quintet, one could make the argument that the Angels will miss Ohtani's arm more than his bat in 2024.

Finally, the Angels bullpen has been set since spring training began. With so many players out of minor league options, the Halos' choices were made long before the lead up to Opening Day. Matt Moore, Jose Soriano, Adam Cimber, Jose Cisnero, Luis Garcia, Jose Suarez, and Carlos Estevez have been plugged in for quite sometime.

Almost every spot on the LA Angels Opening Day roster is already spoken for

With Robert Stephenson, the Angels biggest free agent acquisition this offseason, set to begin the year on the injured list, at least one of LA's non-roster invitees may receive a chance to earn a roster spot. Drew Pomeranz was released earlier this week, so his chances of making the roster have evaporated.

Surprisingly, the final spot in the bullpen could belong to veteran right-hander and former San Francisco Giants closer Hunter Strickland. The 35-year-old posted a 2.45 ERA and 37.5% strikeout rate this spring. Those stats are kind of hard to ignore, and Angels fans should expect to see Strickland on the Opening Day roster.

So what's the hold up? Since he underwent shoulder surgery and hasn't appeared in a game this spring, the Angels can place Sam Bachman on the 60-day IL in order to clear a spot for Strickland. LA could DFA another player who's underperformed this spring in order to add Sanó to the active roster.

For all intents and purposes, the Angels Opening Day roster is set. It seems pretty straightforward at this point, and the fanbase is just waiting for an official announcement.

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