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Rotation Roulette - State of the Angels pitching rotation

Who’s in, who’s out - where is Richards??

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

At the start of the season, the Angels had “plenty” of pitchers. That took a turn real fast and now the Angels rotation is only 4 strong - one of whom wasn’t even on the team to start the season.

If you take a gander over at the Angels depth chart, you will see the following:

  1. Ricky Nolasco
  2. Jesse Chavez
  3. JC Ramirez
  4. Parker Bridwell

Yep. That’s it. Lots of guys on the DL and/or rehabbing and isn’t it funny that Andrew Heaney may be back on the mound this year before Garrett Richards??

The Injured:

Tyler Skaggs
Has been rehabbing in Salt Lake and should be poised to turn the rotation into a 5-man again sometime over the next week. He made potentially his last AAA start on Monday and could rejoin the big league squad for his next schedule start.

Andrew Heaney
Heaney has also been rehabbing (from TJ surgery) and his recovery has gone very well. He’s start for the Bees on Tuesday and I’m guessing will need at least a couple start there. Given the unknowns on the next three guys, he could be the next to join the rotation after Skaggs, making one of the rotation an odd man out.

Matt Shoemaker
Shoemaker went to the DL with what appeared to be a non serious injury but he still isn’t rehabbing and is relegated to playing catch. He’d had some forearm soreness and apparent “nerve” issues. His timeline is unclear at this point and it’s unclear if he’ll return this season.

Alex Meyer
Meyer had an amazing game then promptly land on the DL with a shoulder problem. The Angels “expect” him back this year but he also has no clear timeline for return.

Garrett Richards
Richards continues to play catch and that’s about it. The nerve issues in his biceps have lingered all season and he’s made little progress until recently (if you call long toss much progress).

The Future:

I’m not hoping out hopes that Meyer, Richards, and Shoemaker will be back this year. In fact, I’d bet that at least one of them doesn’t pitch again in 2017 and at least 2 of them may be at least a month away from a return.

The return of Tyler Skaggs bring the rotation back to 5 men and the impending return of Andrew Heaney means that someone gets bumped. The obvious answer would be Jesse Chavez or Ricky Nolasco.

Ricky Nolasco:
0.5 WAR, 5.07 ERA, 1.395 WHIP, 27 HR, 119 IP

Jesse Chavez
0.0 WAR, 5.43 ERA, 1.434 WHIP, 25 HR, 114 IP

Chavez probably won’t get dumped, but rather may have a chance to return to the bullpen where he spent ALL of 2016. Chavez has a .178 BAA against in the first inning this year and he could be a useful bullpen piece to toss an inning here and there and/or even be the long man out of the pen depending on what future plans are for Troy Scribner.

So a few questions remain:

  1. Will Meyer/Shoemaker/Richards (or any of them) return to pitch any significant innings this year?
  2. What happens to (probably) Jesse Chavez?
  3. What happens to the bullpen if Chavez lands there?
  4. With the return of Heaney and Skaggs, the Angels stack their rotation with more talented arms. Who will shine in the remaining 2 months?


Who will be the Angels’ best starter in Aug/Sept

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Ricky Nolasco
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Jesse Chavez
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    JC Ramirez
    (42 votes)
  • 77%
    Parker Bridwell
    (710 votes)
  • 6%
    Tyler Skaggs
    (60 votes)
  • 9%
    Andrew Heaney
    (86 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (answer below)
    (5 votes)
914 votes total Vote Now