A lot can happen over the next 8 days in determining who gets some final roster spots, but it’s “mostly” clear who should get those gigs at this point.
Not on my list, and sure to raise some eyebrows, is Shoehei Ohtani. I’m not down on Ohtani. I think the dude has A LOT of potential still but just isn’t quite ready for MLB. Ohtani is ONLY 23 years old. Making it to the big leagues at that age is the exception and not the norm. He’s adjusting to life in the USA and to a game that’s played slightly different and with a slightly different ball. That kind of adjustments takes a little bit of time. The Salt Lake Bees could see themselves on TV way more than usual this year if Ohtani does indeed start in the minors.
Ohtani aside, who else should make the cut?
(let’s still go with a 6 man rotation because Ohtani WILL get called up at some point AND we still have a long history of injuries to deal with on this staff)
- Garrett Richards
- Andrew Heaney
- J.C. Ramirez
- Tyler Skaggs OR Parker Bridwell
- Nick Tropeano
- Matt Shoemaker
These aren’t really in any order and #4 above is the rough spot. Bridwell was amazing for the Angels last year but his spring has been terrible. Much of this will depend on his next start or two and what the coaches are seeing that we are not. The surface test from fan eyes tells me Skaggs may be more ready than Bridwell. They both have an option year left and one of them can keep Ohtani comfortable on the minor league team bus.
I’m probably going to add a bit of controversy here as well, but these are my takes (in no particular order).
- Ian Krol
- Luke Bard
- Jose Alvarez
- Noe Ramirez
- Jim Johnson
- Blake Parker
- Cam Bedrosian
Bard is our rule 5 pick so if he doesn’t make the roster, we’d have to let him go. I don’t think the team is prepared to do that yet and he has had a “decent” enough spring despite giving up too many runs. Krol is the only other lefty candidate and Alvarez could use some southpaw company. He’s been hit a ton but his other numbers look good so far. Ramirez has also given up a lot off hits but his peripherals are nice. Jim Johnson has the biggest contract in the bullpen and his spring has been okay. Bedrosian has been decent and Parker has been just plain scary. Parker, hopefully, is going to find his stuff before the season starts. While spring training “doesn’t count”, remember that last year, Parker won a bullpen spot BECAUSE of his awesome spring. Concerned yet?
Sadly this leaves John Lamb and Keynan Middleton back in Salt Lake. Lamb has had flashes of brilliance this spring but who do you bump for him? Perhaps he takes Bard’s spot if the next 8 days don’t go so well for the rookie. I also love me some Major Key, but he has struggled since the second half of last season. This is a guy with only 26 innings at the AAA level. Perhaps he was brought up a tad too soon and another month or two in Salt Lake could do him some good.
Definitely some options here but I think we have a consensus.
- Albert Pujols
- Luis Valbuena
- Zack Cozart
- Andrelton Simmons
- Ian Kinsley
- Jefry Marte
The only one worth questioning is Marte but he has no options left and you don’t let a guy go who has had as great of a spring as Marte. Nolan Fontana is still around but he’ll start in the minors. So will a handful of other potential bench players including David Fletcher who continues to impress. It’s just a matter of time before Fletcher gets his chance. Marte makes a good bench player with his ability to play both corners and a bit of outfield.
This is the easiest one to nail down, given the options.
- Mike Trout
- Kole Calhoun
- Justin Upton
- Chris Young
Ask me if I was a fan when the Angels signed Young to a major league del? Nope. He’s also had a terrible spring. Young will make 2 million dollars + potential incentives in 2018 so let’s just hope spring training was just spring training and that he’ll turn a corner when the season starts because I’d rather have Eric Young Jr. on the roster. Young vs. Young!
No brainer here.
- Martin Maldonado
- Rene Rivera
The big questions will be what happens to Carlos Perez who has options. Will he clear waivers and up back in Salt Lake or will some other team grab him as a decent backup catcher?