Can the pitching rotation live up to their potential?
As of right now, the Angels have eight starting pitchers that are going to be potentially competing for 5 spots. There are Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney, who are guaranteed spots in the rotation, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver, who probably have spots, and then Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker, Nick Tropeano, and Tyler Skaggs, who is coming off Tommy John Surgery.
Richards and Heaney both have high expectations surrounding them for 2016. Richards is coming off a bit of a solid year, in which he went 15-12, which a 3.65 ERA. But in 2014, he pitched like an ace, with a 13-4 record, and a 2.61 ERA. Billy Eppler has labeled Richards as the ace headed into next season. Heaney was acquired last offseason in the Howie Kendrick trade, and his first year with the Angels he was pretty impressive. He went 6-4, with a 3.49 ERA, and he is expected to be a main stay in the Angels’ rotation for years to come.
Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano are both young guys that have potential to be really good middle of the rotation starters. Matt Shoemaker had a breakout year in 2014, winning 16 games, with an ERA of 3.04; but struggled in 2015, with an ERA of 4.46. Santiago was an All-Star last season, but struggled in the second half with an ERA over 5.00. And then you obviously have C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver, who are not young, and are in the last years of their contracts, who are looking for bounce back years.
The Angels have a lot of starting pitching depth,that has a group have a lot of potential, and a lot of question marks. Will Garret Richards pitch like the ace he was in 2014? Will Andrew Heaney pick up where he left off? How will Tyler Skaggs fare, coming back from Tommy John Surgery? Will C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver have bounce back years? All of the questions remain unanswered, but the Angels rotation does have potential to be very good in 2016.