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Angels mid-season starting pitching report - revolving door

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The Angels have had 10 pitchers start games this year

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you are paying attention, you know that our current pitching rotation looks nothing like it was supposed to at the start of the year.  Going into 2016, and prrior to the start of the season, our rotation looked something like:

  1. Garrett Richards
  2. Andrew Heaney
  3. Hector Santiago
  4. Matt Shoemaker
  5. Jered Weaver

Of course we also had C.J. Wilson coming back at some point, as well as Tyler Skaggs.  Too many cooks in the kitchen is never a bad problem to have during a 162 game season. Nick Tropeano probably wasn't even going to get a shot until September call-ups with that deep rotation.  Now, the Angels have had 10 different pitchers start games (if you also count Corey Rasmus) and we'll see more before the season is over (like hopefully Tyler Skaggs soon).  The post All-Star break rotation will probably look something like:

  1. Nick Tropeano
  2. Matt Shoemaker
  3. Hector Santiago
  4. Jered Weaver
  5. Tim Lincecum or Tyler Skaggs (late July?)
Tim Lincecum has a shot at a spot if he turns things around quickly, otherwise the Freak experiment may soon be over.


Here's how Angels starting pitching stacks up against the rest of the American League teams so far:

Category Total Place Total for 1st Team in 1st
Losses 37 11th 20 Blue Jays / Rangers
K/9 7.46 9th 8.79 Rays
HR/9 1.50 14th 1.12 Blue Jays
ERA 4.78 10th 3.64 Blue Jays
WAR 2.9 14th 8.9 Indians
BAA 0.275 13th 0.235 Blue Jays
WHIP 1.46 13th 1.17 Indians
QS 36 10th 59 Blue Jays


Not a real pretty picture is it?  Maybe just a bit better than relief pitching has been so far, but not by much.  One thing that's pretty obvious by this chart is that the Indians and Blue Jays have some pretty good starting pitching this year.  The Indians have 5 starting pitchers whose ERA is 3.61 or less, and the Blue Jays have 5 who are all at 3.93 or less.

Grade
Player W L ERA GS QS IP H ER HR/9 BB/9 K/9 AVG WHIP
B Shoemaker, M 4 9 4.45 17 9 97 106 48 1.2 2.0 9.0 0.275 1.32
B Santiago, H 6 4 4.58 18 8 98.1 85 50 1.6 4.0 7.9 0.234 1.31
B Tropeano, N 3 2 3.12 12 3 66.1 67 23 1.5 4.1 9.0 0.267 1.46
C Weaver, J 7 7 5.27 17 8 100.2 118 59 1.9 2.4 5.3 0.294 1.44
D- Chacin, J 2 5 6.11 10 3 53 64 36 0.8 4.2 5.3 0.303 1.68
F Lincecum, T 1 3 6.85 5 1 23.2 38 18 1.6 4.3 8.1 0.369 2.07
Richards, G 1 3 2.34 6 4 34.2 31 9 0.5 3.9 8.9 0.238 1.33
Huff, D 0 2 11.81 2 5.1 13 7 7.1 3.5 5.3 0.464 2.81
Heaney, A 0 1 6.00 1 6 7 4 3.0 0.0 10.5 0.280 1.17
Rasmus, C 0 1 19.29 1 2.1 5 5 8.6 8.6 0.0 0.455 3.00


The Angels don't really have a pitcher with an A grade.  Shoemaker is pushing that now, but his bad start this season nets him a B overall.  Santiago had a great start but then was pretty horrible for a while and also nets out around a B.  Tropeano has had some goods starts, but generally averages just over 5 IP per game so it's hard to push his grade up much higher, especially given his walk and HR rates.

Shoemaker and Tropeano are king of the Ks, averaging 1 K per inning, and Chacin, Lincecum, Tropeano, and Santiago are king of the walks with about 4 per 9 innings pitched.  None of the Angels healthy pitchers have a WHIP lower than 1.31 and aside from Tropeano, we have some pretty high ERA totals.

Despite losing Richards and Heaney, second half pitching could turn around (some).  The return of Skaggs could help as well as the fact that Shoemaker has been a better pitcher since the end of May.  Hector Santiago is often up and down but has potential like Shoemaker and Tropeano to push higher than that B score.  The Halos could climb in the pitching starts during the second half, but probably have a ceiling in the middle of the pack.

This data also paints the picture for next season since we'll most likely be without Heaney and Richards.  We probably won't have Huff, Chacin, or Lincecum (nor do we need them), and we may lose Weaver.  Then you are looking at 2017 rotation of Shoemaker, Santiago, Tropeano, Skaggs, and maybe Nate Smith from AAA.  That info right there is why a Santiago or Shoemaker trade could really sink us for 2017 and most likley, Eppler will need to keep them all PLUS go after a free agent pitcher this coming off season to help reload on the mound.