Angels Not Worried About Left-Handed Heavy Rotation
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Apr 1, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval (43) throws a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

For a second consecutive season, the Los Angeles Angels are utilizing a six-man starting rotation to maximize Shohei Ohtani’s effectiveness on the mound, as in addition to being the team’s ace, he is the primary designated hitter.

Following Ohtani are four left-handed starters in Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers, José Suarez and Patrick Sandoval. Griffin Canning, who makes spot starts at times, is the only other right-hander besides Ohtani.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian discussed the rotation and is not considered about the group being too left-handed heavy, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:

“For us, it’s guys that can pitch,” the Angels general manager said. “Left. Right. Doesn’t matter. There are plenty of teams that have five righties. I think, for us, it’s the quality of the pitcher. It’s the person. All those things are factors.”

Sandoval has enjoyed being part of the predominantly left-handed staff and believes more and more southpaws are entering the league:

“It’s awesome,” Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval said. “There’s more of us. We’re multiplying. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a rotation or staff with this many lefties ever. It’s interesting to see how it’s going to shake out.”

Anderson, the Angels’ lone offseason addition to the rotation, was part of a left-handed heavy Los Angeles Dodgers staff last year and sees similarities with the current group:

“It’s cool,” Anderson said. “I think it’s fun because you can just talk to guys about pitching and their pitches are similar to yours and how they get guys out, how they attack guys. Guys’ approaches versus lefties are usually different from versus righties. You can feel some stuff out and talk to guys and get good feedback.”

Despite being left-handed heavy, the Angels rotation has produced respectable results thus far this season. The group currently ranks 19th with 1.1 WAR and has pitched to a 4.53 ERA and 5.10 FIP in 115.1 innings across 23 games.

Perry Minasian: Angels trust catching tandem of Matt Thaiss & Chad Wallach

In the wake of Logan O’Hoppe needing to undergo shoulder surgery that will sideline him for four-to-six months, the Angels will be relying on a catching tandem of Matt Thaiss and Chad Wallach until veteran Max Stassi is activated off the injured list.

Minasian voiced his confidence in the young catchers and believes they are capable of holding down the fort for the time being.

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