Early Projection Of Opening Day 26-Man Angels Roster
Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, 2021 Season
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have made some quality additions to their 2022 roster. Given the ongoing MLB lockout preventing any type of transactions or negotiations surrounding active players, the Angels roster is at a standstill until a new CBA is agreed to.

With all these new additions, it’s easy to lose track of the bigger picture of the roster. For example, amid all the chaos, the Angels are in line to get two perennial MVP candidates back in the lineup on Opening Day in the form of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Both spent nearly the entire 2021 season on the Injured List.

So here, we are going to take a look at the Angels 26-man roster if the season started today with no further additions. Then, a breakdown of what the Angels still need after the negotiation and transaction freeze is lifted.

This is obviously a way-too-early projection, meaning a ton can change between now and April. However, the lockout provides a great chance to see where the Angels stand and what their plans could be in the future. Within our projections, we’ll also look at all the potential positions a player might play.

(#) = Cumulative total No. of players on roster

Projected Starting Lineup

1. 2B/SS David Fletcher (1)
2. DH Shohei Ohtani (2)
3. OF Mike Trout (3)
4. 3B Anthony Rendon (4)
5. 1B Jared Walsh (5)
6. C Max Stassi (6)
7. OF Brandon Marsh (7)
8. OF Jo Adell (8)
9. SS/2B Tyler Wade (9)

Projected Bench

OF Justin Upton (10)
INF/OF Andrew Velazquez (11)
INF Jack Mayfield (12)
C Matt Thaiss (13)

Projected Starting Rotation

1. RHP Noah Syndergaard (14)
2. RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani
3. LHP Patrick Sandoval (15)
4. LHP Jose Suarez (16)
5. RHP Michael Lorenzen (17)
6. RHP Jaime Barria (18)

Projected Bullpen

1. RHP Raisel Iglesias (19)
2. LHP Aaron Loup (20)
3. RHP Mike Mayers (21)
4. RHP Austin Warren (22)
5. LHP Jose Quijada (23)
6. RHP Jimmy Herget (24)
7. RHP Andrew Wantz (25)
8. LHP Brian Moran (26)

Analysis

So where does this leave the Angels? Clearly, their starting lineup is elite and figures to be one of the best in baseball. It features three MVP candidates, upwards of five All-Stars, and two young players with massive upside in Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell.

Their bench could use some work. Matt Thaiss is probably not the answer at the back-up catcher position, given that Kurt Suzuki had to play 72 games at the position due to various injuries and rest for Max Stassi. However, the versatility provided by Jack Mayfield and Andrew Velazquez could be a huge benefit.

The top of the rotation remains the big question mark. Is Noah Syndergaard going to return to ace form? If so, then their six-man rotation looks solid. If the Angels want to feel really good heading into 2022, acquiring a top-level starter via trade and moving everyone down one slot would be the ideal scenario.

The Angels could also stand to add a couple bullpen pieces as well. Iglesias, Loup, Mayers, Warren, and Quijada make up a really solid top five. But a lack of depth could be the downfall, and acquiring one or two more reliable pieces would make things much clearer.

All in all, the Halos are one major piece in the rotation and 2-3 minor pieces on the bench and in the bullpen away from having a borderline elite roster. It remains to be seen if they feel the same way or have plans in place to make those moves after the lockout is over.

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