It was said that for the Angels to truly compete, they were going to need their entire pitching staff to step up, stay healthy, and pitch to their potential. If that happened, you could see the makings of a solid rotation. At various times, Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, and Tyler Skaggs have all flashed ace potential. They’ve also either been hurt, struggled severely, or both. So their was a wide range of outcomes for this Halos’ starting rotation. They had the potential to be a solid rotation, or it could all fall apart quickly. So far this season, it seems like the latter possibility is the reality.
Richards couldn’t even finish his first start, and as he spends more time unable to even throw, it appears the writing is on the wall. Shoemaker finally put together a decent start yesterday, but struggled in his first two. Jesse Chavez has been unable to pitch out of the sixth inning in either of his starts. Ricky Nolasco leads the league in home runs allowed despite making his starts in Oakland and Anaheim. Then there’s Skaggs, who has mixed about eight solid innings around two terrible innings that have turned potentially good starts into bad ones.
The Angels desperately need Skaggs to eliminate those bad innings and pitch deep into games. The bullpen is being overworked and the team has to dig itself out of an early hole every night. Some nights, it leads to historic comebacks. Most nights, it leads to lopsided losses. With Richards injured and the rotation lacking any kind of positive consistency, Skaggs will need to finally take that next step to reach his potential. If he can do that, then the Angels just might be able to string some wins together again. If not, then we may be in for a repeat of last year.