Angels News: Patrick Sandoval Continues Strong Stretch As Offseason Nears
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If there were any doubts remaining that Patrick Sandoval would be a major part of the Los Angeles Angels future, his recent stretch of play should serve as confirmation. Another good outing on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers pointed to a larger trend of improved pitching for Sandoval.

On Tuesday night, Sandoval tossed 5.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits and four walks. While the high walk totals are a bit reminiscent of earlier this season, he coupled it with only three hits and a whopping seven strikeouts.

Sandoval had shown significant frustration with his play to start 2022. In 13 starts between May 2 and July 23, Sandoval amassed a 4.43 ERA and 1.623 WHIP, neither figure resembling anything close to where he’d like to be. But between starts on July 23 and 29, a switch flipped.

The young Angels starter went out and threw a complete game shutout against the Detroit Tigers on July 29, and has been remarkable ever since. Sandoval said that it was the result of a specific change he made, according to Dave Sessions of

“We tinkered with some things right before my start in Detroit and it’s really helped these last two months,” Sandoval said after improving to 6-9 for the season on Tuesday.

In his last nine starts, Sandoval has yet to give up more than two earned runs in an individual appearance. He’s averaging 6.0 innings per start since July 29, compared to 5.1 in his 13 starts prior. But the real difference comes here, with an ERA of 2.03 and a WHIP of 1.088.

He shifted his focus as well, with an emphasis on getting deeper into games, hence the significantly decreased WHIP figures.

He said his main goals over the final two months have been “getting deep into the games and coming out of the season healthy and ready to roll into Spring Training.”

Sandoval likely only has two starts remaining in the 2022 season. But his performance since July 29 indicates that he is growing from his breakout 2021 campaign, and the Angels likely couldn’t be happier with the development of the soon-to-be-26-year old.

With the Angels hoping to have playoff expectations in 2023, having a rotational pillar in Sandoval serves as a great starting point for their rotation next season. Most likely, Shohei Ohtani, Sandoval, Jose Suarez, and Reid Detmers are the only four with locked in spots, and even that has some wiggle room depending on free agency, trades, and Minor League call-ups.

Stassi’s slump continues with triple play

Max Stassi cannot seem to get anything going his way at the plate this season, but especially in recent weeks. He has hits in just five of his last 76 at-bats. And on Tuesday, he ended an Angels rally by grounding into a triple play, making him the only player to hit into an out in an inning that the Angels scored three runs in.

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