Chase Silseth returned to the Los Angeles Angels in mid-July with another chance to crack the starting rotation. He made some major shifts to his pitch selection, namely removing his cutter and focusing solely on his fastball, slider and splitter, and has had immediate results ever since.
He has a 2.04 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in three starts (17.2 innings), striking out 26 batters compared with only three walks. That stretch came against some impressive lineups, most notably a one-run start over five innings against the Atlanta Braves, baseball’s best offense.
Now, he has another chance to prove his place in the starting rotation when he takes the mound for the series finale against the Houston Astros on Sunday. The Angels are in desperate need of a win and Silseth has delivered two victories in three starts.
Even though Silseth is at a high level of confidence after his most recent starts, he knows that there is more work to do, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“In this game, you never have it figured out,” Silseth said. “You never fully break through to where you can finally relax. You can’t relax in this game because if you feel like that you’ve broken through, the game is going to humble you.”
Silseth has earned each start he’s received since re-entering the rotation. He was supposed to be a stopgap for the injured Griffin Canning, but he’ll take the start Sunday even though Canning has been activated from the injured list.
Angels manager Phil Nevin has confidence in Silseth to continue his strong stretch.
“He’s somebody that’s obviously gone to another level for us on the mound,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “We’re very excited about him.”
If he can guide the Halos to a victory on Sunday with another strong start, it may cement his place in the rotation for the foreseeable future, especially as the Angels fall further out of postseason contention. But those decisions are going to be made another day.
Nevin: Astros have Angels number
Nevin admitted the obvious on Saturday night when he stated that the Astros have had the Angels number throughout the season. The Halos are now 3-9 against Houston prior to Sunday’s series finale, and back-to-back 11-3 losses is good enough for their second-worst two-game stretch of the season by margin of defeat.
Sunday’s game becomes that much more important when given the context of an Angels team struggling to defeat a divisional rival.