Are The Halos A Complete Product?

Updated: February 27, 2017

Superstar Mike Trout has sadly spent a good chunk of his MLB career apart from contention. As chill and mild-mannered as he is temperament wise, one cannot help but to wonder whether his patience is starting to thin. However, the roster Angels’ GM Billy Eppler has pieced together could accordingly undo that pattern.

There were multiple departures in the off-season, but, in spite of that truth, Eppler addressed several holes. He made sure the Halos could have a strong middle infield via the acquisition of Danny Espinosa. The additions of Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere give the ball club a pair of table setters with well above average wheels. Luis Valbuena was also signed to give the lineup a left-handed power option. The swap for Martin Maldonado also transpired in order to try to upgrade things behind the dish.

While these newbies have some promise, it is still fair to inquire: are the Halos really a finished product? One could construct the argument that the answer may lean more toward the “no” side of the spectrum. This is reasonable to say as a result of the way their starting pitching staff appears. It is not to say that the staff does not carry the potential to shine brighter than the Big A on a cool, crisp summer night, yet there is not one pitcher that offers that absolute guarantee for the lack of a better way of putting it.

Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, and Tyler Skaggs are, on paper, the squad’s best pitchers. Coming back from injuries is always tricky, though, especially in view of theirs being the furthest things from petty. It is hard to gauge what to expect from them until they are given a few turns out there prior to the commencement of the regular season. It is impossible to determine how they will react to being on the mound again on a regular basis.

Jesse Chavez signed a one-year pact and will likely either be the fifth starter or a long reliever no matter what the final verdict is. That in itself, though, denotes that he will not be a go-to type guy. Pieces like Bud Norris, Alex Meyer, and perhaps even Nate Smith could give Chavez a run for his money. Nevertheless, these possibilities do not confidently, emphatically scream that “absolute guarantee.” It is good to see that Norris, for example, did not allow a run in yesterday’s win versus Oakland. Smith, in fact, did the same in his spring debut today. It is a minuscule sample size, though.

It is not to assert that the team’s pitching corps is going to be weak and frail. That is not what is being driven home. Frankly, they could actually surprise some teams even if there is not necessarily that glittering, sexy name that even a non-fan could rapidly recite with ease. What is unfortunate, however, is the great unknown. This is what causes the skepticism to come out of the shadows.

It thus makes one inquisitive if Eppler did enough in this specific regard in the off-season. Granted it is a hackneyed phrase in the vocabulary of baseball nuts, a team can really never have too much pitching. Given the injuries factor and the fact that some guys are not as polished as others, picking up even a single extra piece could impart the Angels with slightly better odds in 2017. Whether it occurs soon or sometime several months from now prior to the July 31 deadline is another story. It is certainly worth consideration in an effort to play it safe—there is no denying that.

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