Rotation Must Be Good To Give The Angels Hope In 2017

Updated: March 29, 2017

How the Angels’ season fares for them largely depends on the overall health of their team. After last year’s whale of a train wreck in that neck of the woods, any remote improvement in that respect would provide reason to leap up and down like the adorable, yet fiercely spirited rally monkey. Another aspect of the team will likely make or break the ball club in 2017: their starting rotation. Interestingly enough, the aforestated health factor goes hand in hand when this element is examined.

It is not to say that the Angels’ rotation cannot potentially be a strength of theirs this year. However, quite a lot has to go right in order for that to become a justifiable argument. Quite a lot. For starters, Jered Weaver is no longer aboard the team vessel and is now part of the NL West. Secondly, C.J Wilson has officially stepped aside from the game of baseball in order to pursue a lifelong dream of his in the racing world.

In addition to those who are literally no longer around, a couple other familiar faces will likely not be donning Angels red in 2017 barring the manifestation of an absolute miracle. Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano are both recuperating from Tommy John surgery. Consequently, each hurler is expected to be sidelined throughout the full duration of 2017. If all goes perfectly somehow, a late September call up could transpire. The odds of that actually happening are basically microscopic.

Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker will man the top of the rotation in all likelihood. The former of the duo is coming off a season where he could not even make it through the first third of it unscathed. He nearly had to undergo TJ surgery himself, although he ultimately opted to go with stem-cell therapy in lieu of the traditional avenue. If he is feeling good from a health standpoint, there is no reason why 2014 cannot be replicated.

The same is true when the Shoe is investigated. His 2014 was spectacular to say the least. It was a year that resulted in a second place finish in the ROY voting. It was a year where, without the Shoe’s presence, the Angels may not have even made the postseason. Glimpses of that magic resurfaced after he was sent down the minors earlier last year. The beginning of his 2016 campaign started off on a note sourer than the sound a kid produces when he or she plays an instrument for the first time. After he came up again, all went well until the freak injury.

Ricky Nolasco is the next to be considered when it comes to the projected rotation. Although he struggled to some degree with the Minnesota Twins las year, noticeable improvement happened after he came to Anaheim. He posted a 3.21 ERA in the last couple months of 2016 and considering his similar results so far in Spring Training, Nolasco should once again provide quality innings for the ball club.

Southpaw Tyler Skaggs cannot be discounted, either. There is understandable doubt there on the grounds that the left-handed pitcher has never waded his way through a full campaign. In spite of this being true, starts like the one he had this past Saturday shed light on the possibilities. A lot of the story behind Skaggs is still unwritten due to the bad luck he has had so early in his MLB tenure. If any of that inner potential is met and sustained, he could be a mainstay in the organization in the time to come. Of course, only time will tell.

Last but certainly not least is former Dodger Jesse Chavez. The low 2.51 ERA he has posted this spring suggests that he could turn some heads in 2017. The fact that has not amassed a single walk, either, is indicative of how far he has come along. He was a hurler many were not too sure of just a few weeks ago, but his consistency for the most part has not gone unnoticed. He may not be a lights out kind of guy. Nevertheless, he gives the Halos much-needed depth at the bare minimum.

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