The Los Angeles Angels entered the offseason with several needs. The bullpen was again one of the league's worst in 2023 and needed at least a couple of high-quality arms. The Angels have signed three relievers thus far, but none of them profile as a late-game reliever they can realistically trust.
The lineup didn't have a spot that needed to be filled necessarily, but with Shohei Ohtani's departure, they simply need more talent. The players they have are fine, but they're going to need more than just fine to make any sort of noise. Adding a big bopper in the middle of the order is something Perry Minasian has to do and has not yet.
Perhaps the biggest weakness on this Angels team is their starting rotation. Even with Shohei Ohtani the group they had was below-average, and now without Ohtani it's hard to imagine where it'll rank. So far, the Angels have not addressed the rotation despite a glaring need for a frontline starter. Whether they do or don't remains to be seen. The starting rotation they'd have if the season started today is one to be concerned about, but also does have some potential.
A lot would have to go right for this Opening Day LA Angels rotation to be any good
1. Patrick Sandoval
2. Reid Detmers
3. Griffin Canning
4. Tyler Anderson
5. Chase Silseth
Order it however you want. If you think Reid Detmers or even Griffin Canning would be the ace of this staff, I wouldn't have too much of an argument. The reality is while there is some talent here, there's no frontline talent you can be sure will produce. That's a problem.
Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers are the best starters in this rotation talent-wise, but their inconsistency is certainly frustrating for all Angels fans. These guys can throw seven scoreless any given night and then follow that up by allowing seven runs in three innings. The potential is there, but you never know what you're going to get making them more complementary pieces than actual frontline starters.
Griffin Canning had a nice season for the Angels, but he is what he is at this point. A decent back end starting pitcher. The Angels hope he can stay healthy in 2024.
Tyler Anderson and Chase Silseth are both giant question marks. The Angels hope Anderson can show flashes of the pitcher he was in 2022, but with how bad he was in 2023, it's hard to bank on that happening. Silseth impressed when given the chance to start games in the second half but made just eight starts overall and is unproven at best.
The upside for this rotation is very real. Sandoval and Detmers are both extremely talented and when right, fit as frontline arms. If the Angels get a strong year out of Anderson and Silseth continues to show strides then the Angels might really have something here.
The problem is there are so many ifs. The Angels need so much to go right for them to have a passable rotation, let alone a good one. That's why adding a frontline starter is so important. If the rotation stays as is, there's a good chance we're in for another long year in Anaheim.