Ricky Nolasco Could be the Impact Starter the Halos Need

Updated: March 9, 2017

Much of the talk surrounding the Angels‘ prospective rotation has centered around Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Matt Shoemaker, and for good reason;

Richards is continuing to recover from an elbow injury while avoiding Tommy John surgery, Skaggs is looking to finally stay healthy and make good on his vast potential, and Shoemaker is coming off of his own gruesome injury and looking to build on his strong season last year.

Ricky Nolasco, however, could end up being that impact starter the Halos need. Nolasco put together a solid finish to the season, compiling a 3.87 FIP in eleven starts, but he was truly impressive in his final three starts, allowing only one earned run combined.

Nolasco seems to have picked up right where he left off this Spring. It’s only five innings, but Nolasco only has a 1.80 ERA and has basically cruised through his outings so far, which is a great sign for a team that desperately needs reliable options in their rotation.

Nolasco is about as reliable as they come, pitching at least twenty-five games eight out of his eleven seasons, and has pitched over 180 innings six times. The Angels desperately need that type of reliability from as many pitchers as they can, and even though Nolasco has often turned in mediocre results on the surface, his FIP has actually been lower than his ERA every year of his career except for one, which indicates that Nolasco has outperformed his base statistics.

While Nolasco has never been a huge strikeout pitcher, he’s done a good job of limiting walks and keeping the ball in the park throughout his career, and his career strikeout to walk ratio is 3.41. For comparison, Clayton Kershaw has a career 4.02 strikeout to walk ratio, so think about that!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Angels need all the help they can get in the rotation, and are going to need contributions from up and down the staff across multiple levels of the organization before it’s all said and done.

Nolasco is showing positive signs, and while he may not fit the typical definition of an ‘impact starter,’ his reliability and consistency alone will make an impact in a rotation that hasn’t seen a lot of that for the past couple years.

Having a pitcher that you can count on for thirty starts and close to 200 innings is an asset that can’t be overestimated, especially considering the question marks the Angels have regarding the potential health and production within their pitching staff. Ricky Nolasco may not be the impact starter we asked for, but he’s the impact starter we’ve got.

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