Andrew Heaney provided the Angels in 2020 something in very short supply for the franchise in recent years: competent starting pitching. But there’s still room for improvement for the left-hander.
Heaney made his first Opening Day start this season, and was impressive, allowing just one run in 4⅔ innings, striking out six while walking none in Oakland. After a brief struggle, Heaney looked like he was turning the corner into a true top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Through eight starts, he had a 3.79 ERA but his peripheral numbers were even better, with a 2.74 FIP that ranked fourth in the American League at the time.
In September he had three quality starts, helping the Angels stave off elimination longer than expected. But he also allowed five runs in a pair of late outings. The contrast is stark: in those first eight starts, Heaney allowed 19 runs and two home runs. In his final four starts, he allowed 16 runs and seven home runs.
That ballooned his seasonal numbers to a 4.46 ERA, which still rated as roughly average (a 101 ERA+). His 3.79 FIP, adjusted for league and park, was above average (85 FIP-), giving the Angels a rotation-bolstering arm. They just need more of them.
Heaney, Dylan Bundy, and Griffin Canning combined for a 3.91 ERA in 34 starts, while the rest of the rotation had a 9.22 ERA in 26 starts.
The changeup was an effective weapon for Heaney, especially against right-handers. He allowed a .242 batting average, a .333 slugging percentage and no home runs on the pitch in 2020, after a .284 average, .568 slugging, and six homers the year prior.
Stats: 4.46 ERA, 101 ERA+, 3.79 FIP, 66⅔ IP, 70 K
Salary: $4.3 million
Game of the year
On September 3 against the Padres, one of the best offenses in baseball, Heaney had his best start of the year, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing only three singles and two walks while striking out six.
Heaney has five years, 150 days of major league service time, and will be a free agent after the 2021 season. He is eligible for salary arbitration this winter.