Somehow, without the services of Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, and Tyler Skaggs, the Angels pitchers rank 9th in all of baseball in ERA. A quick look at who is pitching well enough to put the squad in the top third of baseball, though, shows we are leaning on some arms that are either over performing their norms, crossing into uncharted innings waters, or both.
Yes, the boys are doing well now but they will need help. And soon.
The best example of a contributor who might stall out is JC Ramirez. Outside of the first inning, JC has been stellar this year. The reliever turned starter has given the Angels a solid chance to win in all but one of his outings, perhaps two.
The fire balling righty has pitched to a 4.10 ERA while striking out 7 per 9 innings and walking 2 and his FIP and xFIP are in line with his actual ERA. His peripherals are in line with his career norms so he isn't over performing.
But he is one inning away from matching his inning total from last year, which was a career high at the time.
David Hernandez has already appeared in 23 games for the Halos and Blake Parker seems to get the call every day. Hernandez is pitching to a 1.75 FIP and Parker is at a whopping 0.99. Those are both well below their career averages of 3.31 and 2.80. The numbers for Parker mimic his best years but he's on pace for 70 appearances, which seems unsustainable, especially considering he has only surpassed 40 appearances twice in a 10 year professional career.
These ponies have been ridden hard and we are just now on the back stretch.
Outside of these three we have Alex Meyer coming into his own, but he only tossed 59 innings total last year and hasn't surpassed 100 since 2014. Jesse Chavez has eaten innings in the past but is known for fading in the second half and has looked progressively worse his last couple of outings.
The good news is the cavalry may be on the way in the forms of Doug Fister, Cam Bedrosian, and on the horizon, Tyler Skaggs. The key is whether it gets here before the magic falls from overspent bullpen and whether or not Fister merely replaces Matt Shoemaker. Shoey has only been diagnosed with forearm tightness, but we've all been down this road before.
While I generally disdain coaches and GMs for hailing the return of a players as "better than any trade we could have made" in this case we are talking about two legitimate rotation arms and a high leverage reliever/closer. Oh, and the best baseball player on the planet.
It will take more magic, gum, and duct tape to keep this team afloat for the next 2-3 weeks while the pitching reinforcements take place. But if the timelines proceed as planned, Ramirez and Parker should get some well needed rest and the starting pitching should improve as we hit the dog days of summer.