In 2018, the Los Angeles Angels are taking a different approach than most teams with a six-man starting staff.
The L.A. Angels are going to go with a six-man rotation next year in order to help Shohei Ohtani’s transition into the MLB. That will go a long way in preserving his arm for down the road. Also, the Angels have had injury problems in the rotation for quite some time. This will give the team much-needed depth over the course of a full season. Here is what manager Mike Scioscia said in a recent interview:
“That’s what we’re looking at,” Scioscia told hosts Mike Ferrin and Matt Diaz. “I think that’s probably the route we will go, but we’re going to wait until we get to Spring Training, and then we can make some decisions there. I think it makes a lot of sense right now, and it’s something we’re looking at very closely.”
This is a step in the right direction for an Angels team that was stricken with pitching injuries in 2017. Also, this gives the piece of mind that their new stud will have enough rest. The club will have big competition as they look to dethrone the Houston Astros, who appear even more loaded than last season. Furthermore, L.A. will have to keep an eye out on its arms considering it is a team that has struggled with consistency.
Garrett Richards is the ace of the staff for now in Los Angeles, but he barely pitched last year, as he only threw 27.2 innings before a tear in his left patellar tendon. If the team has any chance of competing, he is a guy that they’ll need to lean on.
Surprisingly, the Angels were not that bad in the pitching department despite injuries. The club ranked 12th in MLB with a 4.20 ERA. Oddly enough, the ‘Stros ranked just ahead of L.A. as 11th in the league with a 4.12 ERA, but they will assuredly get better with full seasons out of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Also, a bounce-back season from Dallas Keuchel would help.
It will be a tall task for the Angels to clinch the division. But if everything breaks right a Wild Card berth could be in the cards.