The Los Angeles Angels have been on the unfortunate side with consistency in their roster construction for the better half of a decade, but one constant has remained, a disconnect in their starting pitchers. But this year has been different in that the overall results might not tell the story of how close Patrick Sandoval and his fellow starters have become.
Aside from Shohei Ohtani, the Angels feature some very premier talent in their front end. Sandoval, 25, Reid Detmers, 23, and José Suarez, 24, are all firmly planted in their starting rotation for the foreseeable future, barring any setbacks or reasons to slow down their development.
The season hasn’t gone as planned, but each of them has shown flashes in their own ways, signaling that the Angels might have found a core to build around, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“We’re tired of hearing about the Angels’ starting pitching,” the Angels lefty said. “Wasting (Mike) Trout. Wasting (Shohei) Ohtani. We don’t want it to be on us. We’re taking responsibility. I think this year is different. It’s a different tone. Everyone wants to get better, to help each other. Everyone just wants to win, bottom line.”
Sandoval is in his fourth year with the Angels, the same goes for Suarez, and they both have been joined at the hip as two of the club’s lefty trio.
“I feel really good about it,” Sandoval said last week of the trio of young lefty starters. “We’ve grown really close. Me and Suarez have been together since ’19. We’ve developed a really good relationship. We brought Reid along with us too.”
Quality starters outside of Ohtani have been tough to come by, and general manager Perry Minasian has put together a solid group.
José Suarez debuts slider
Angels starter Suarez took to the mound on Sunday to face the Minnesota Twins in the series finale. With it figuring to be just his second-to-last start of the 2022 season, each performance could be an indicator of his future with the team.
Suarez took it as a chance to experiment, adding a new secondary slider that projects to be about four miles per hour faster than his normal slider. He threw it 33 times on Sunday, registering eight whiffs. In total, Suarez gave up just two earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six.