The argument for and against Chase Silseth being the Angels sixth starter
The Los Angeles Angels have five spots of their rotation locked in but the sixth spot is up for grabs. The Halos can sign someone like Michael Wacha to take that spot, or they can go internal. The closer we get to Spring Training, it feels like the latter is the most likely outcome, for better or for worse.
Griffin Canning is probably the lead candidate for the role heading into the spring, but anything can happen. Canning can struggle or not prove that he's ready to start games for the Halos. If that ends up happening, Chase Silseth could be next in line. There are arguments for and against Silseth cracking the Opening Day rotation.
Why LA Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth should be the sixth starter
Chase Silseth offers more upside than Griffin Canning. The latter is the more experienced pitcher of the two at the big league level, but Silseth has very high upside.
In 15 starts in AA he went 7-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 83 innings pitched. In those 83 innings, he struck out a whopping 110 batters (11.9 K/9) while walking just 27 (2.9 BB/9). Of course, that's just AA, but that's extremely impressive.
Silseth shot up through the Angels system and earned a call to the big leagues in May despite being an 11th-round pick less than a full year prior.
In his MLB debut, he pitched six innings allowing just one hit in a 2-0 win in Oakland. Yes, it's just Oakland, but they're still a big-league team. Silseth had a rocky six starts after that scattered across three months but you can't deny the potential is there. If the Angels want upside with that slot, Silseth is the guy.
Why LA Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth should not be the sixth starter
Experience does matter, and Silseth lacks it. 15 starts in AA and 7 MLB starts is not much to go off of, and the Angels wanting to compete likely shouldn't rely on someone like that to pitch consistently in the rotation. As good as Silseth was in AA, he just didn't pitch much.
When Silseth was with the Angels, things didn't go well at all outside of that Oakland start. He didn't pass five innings once and was destroyed by the home run ball. Silseth allowed seven home runs in 28.2 innings pitched (2.2 HR/9).
I, like many others, am enamored with his potential. An 11th-round pick putting up those numbers in AA is definitely something to get excited about. However, it's just too early. Even if Silseth has a good showing in the spring it's just too risky. The Angels cannot afford to have a pitcher who can implode at any second.
With an improved lineup, they don't need perfection like they did last season. They need the sixth starter to give them five innings and keep them in ballgames. Silseth can do that eventually, but it's too early to expect that from him right now. Let him get more reps in AAA and maybe call him up if someone is injured or a pitcher is struggling.