The Los Angeles Angels secured their third consecutive win in Spring Training on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. A second straight quality outing from new starting pitcher Jose Quintana allowed the Angels to hold their opponent to just three runs, all coming in the final innings.
Quintana has pitched in six innings since the beginning of the preseason and has yet to give up a run. This is very encouraging for Joe Maddon and company, as the Angels ranked 25th in 2020 for team ERA, with much of that lack of success directly attributable to their starting pitchers. Of the Angels six pitchers who started more than five games in 2020, only one — Dylan Bundy — sported an ERA lower than 3.5.
The Angels newest starting pitcher Quintana was encouraged by his second great outing, saying his confidence continues to rise, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I feel my confidence getting up every time I go to the mound,” Quintana said. “It’s a good time to see how all my stuff has been doing. Today it feels really good.”
Maddon was also complementary of Quintana, specifically citing his mix of pitches for the success:
“He’s looked great,” Maddon said. “He’s strike-throwing. He’s in control. It’s a better mix of his pitches.”
While the Angels do not yet have the true ace they’ve been searching for, they’re hopeful that their group of six starting pitchers will be productive in aiding one of the MLB’s best offensive attacks.
Maddon has not yet made any determinations about who the Opening Day starter will be, but Quintana has earned a spot in the discussion with two nearly perfect outings in 2021. Among others in the discussion will be Bundy, Alex Cobb, Andrew Heaney, and potentially even Shohei Ohtani.
Angels defeat Diamondbacks with help from David Fletcher and Scott Schebler
The Angels needed just one inning of consistent offense to put the Diamondbacks away. David Fletcher showed off some of the skills that led to his breakout 2020 season with a two-RBI double, followed immediately by a two-run home run by Scott Schebler.
Schebler replaced Mike Trout midway through the game, but kept similar production to the perennial MVP contender.