The Los Angeles Angels have the best player in the game of baseball. And they are wasting away the prime of his career. Their projected lineup was previously detailed here at The Inscriber. Now that we take a look at their projected pitching rotation, it’s easy to see that the club isn’t doing much to take advantage of Mike Trout. Here is what the Angels 2017 projected rotation looks like.
- Matt Shoemaker
The Los Angeles Angels list of injured pitchers begins with Matt Shoemaker. He missed the end of the 2016 season, after taking a line drive to the head. It resulted in a small skull fracture, but he has since recovered well and has been cleared in full for 2017. Leading up to his injury, Shoemaker was on an impressive role. He had a 2.83 ERA over 130.1 innings pitched. His success last season, and the thumbs up for full participation in Spring Training, will land him the ace spot in this rotation.
- Ricky Nolasco
Ricky Nolasco landed on the Los Angeles Angels roster in August of last year. This often-injured righty needs to stay healthy to make an impact for the Angels. In 2014, he missed six weeks with a strained elbow. He required surgery on his ankle in 2015, missing 3 ½ months. In his first half of last year, with the Minnesota Twins, he went 4-8 with a 5.13 ERA in 21 starts. He finished the season with a 4.42 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.245. Nolasco can be reliable in the rotation, if he can just manage to keep healthy.
- Tyler Skaggs
In a three-way deal, the Angels acquired Tyler Skaggs from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Skaggs had a remarkable 2014 season. Making adjustments to his pitching mechanics, he was able to get his fastball to 92 mph. In 113 innings, he racked up 86 Ks, with only 30 walks. Then, Skaggs had to undergo Tommy John surgery. It kept him away for the entire 2015 season. He bounced back in the second half of 2016 and looked just as impressive as before surgery. In over 49 innings, he posted a K/9 of over 9.0. Skaggs will need to continue to focus on his arm recovery and mechanics, in order to continue his success into 2017.
- Garrett Richards
Garret Richards entered the 2016 season as the ace of the rotation. He was coming off two phenomenal years. In 2014, he had an amazing ERA at 2.61. Then in 2015, for the first time in his career, he pitched more than 200 innings. Tragedy struck for Richards, in the early part of last season. He tore his UCL in a game against the Texas Rangers. He put off Tommy John surgery and elected to have stem cell therapy. So far, his recovery has been successful, and he looks to be on pace for the beginning of 2017. It’s hard to say where Richards will end the 2017 season. He may not be his 2014/2015 self while trying to get back into his groove.
- Alex Meyer
The Los Angeles Angels picked up Alex Meyer in the Hector Santiago trade last season. He ranks as the fourth overall prospect for the Angels. He had a 1.86 ERA in 29 minor league innings. However, he put up a 5.68 ERA with 29/17 K/BB ratio in 25 MLB innings. He is the likely filler at the back-end of the rotation, especially since Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney are still recovering from injury. He is questionable, at best, for Major League play. However, the club is lacking in options.