Final Projection Of Angels 28-Man Roster On Opening Day
Mike Trout, Jared Walsh, 2021 Season
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Due to collective bargaining talks stalling the start of Spring Training, MLB and the Players Association agreed to begin the 2022 season with 28-man rosters. For the first month, each team will have two extra roster spots, which should be very helpful for a team like the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels have plenty of decisions to make regarding their roster. The infield is far from set, with multiple players still fighting for starting and utility roles. The Angels have five outfielders that could reasonably make the Opening Day roster.

And on the pitching side, Joe Maddon announced that the team has chosen a sixth starter, but has not yet made that decision public information. In the bullpen, the Angels could have upwards of 10 arms thanks to the extra roster spots.

The Halos have just under a week to make all of these choices. Of course, the Opening Day roster is more ceremonious than anything else, as team’s frequently change their rosters throughout the course of a season. But they need to find the players they determine to be the most trustworthy to begin a very important season.

L.A. already optioned some key players, giving us a look into the team’s mindset. Janson Junk, Luis Rengifo, Andrew Velazquez, Andrew Wantz, and Matt Thaiss were all optioned, meaning none of them will be on the Opening Day roster.

Below, we’ll put together a projection of the starting lineup, bench, rotation, and bullpen based on all the information we have available to us as of April 1.

Projected Starting Lineup

SP/DH Shohei Ohtani (1)
OF Mike Trout (2)
3B Anthony Rendon (3)
1B Jared Walsh (4)
OF Justin Upton (5)
C Max Stassi (6)
OF Brandon Marsh (7)
2B Matt Duffy (8)
SS David Fletcher (9)

Projected Bench

C Kurt Suzuki (10)
INF Tyler Wade (11)
OF Jo Adell (12)
INF/OF Taylor Ward (13)
INF/OF Jack Mayfield (14)

Projected Rotation

SP Noah Syndergaard (15)
SP Patrick Sandoval (16)
SP Jose Suarez (17)
SP/RP Michael Lorenzen (18)
SP Reid Detmers (19)

Projected Bullpen

RP Raisel Iglesias (20)
RP Aaron Loup (21)
RP Ryan Tepera (22)
RP Archie Bradley (23)
RP Austin Warren (24)
RP Mike Mayers (25)
RP Jaime Barria (26)
RP Jose Quijada (27)
RP Jose Marte (28)

Analysis

This projection is based on the Angels taking one extra bench player and one extra bullpen arm with spots 27 and 28. Here, those spots were given to Mayfield and Marte, who would likely be out if this were a 26-man projection.

Obviously, the Angels have one of the strongest lineups in baseball. Should Rendon and Trout be healthy for a majority of the season, there is simply nowhere for pitchers to hide when facing this group. Ohtani and Trout should have plenty of opportunities to see real pitches with teams unable to pitch around.

The bullpen is also a strength that has been noted before. The top six could be one of the strongest in the Majors, while Barria, Quijada, and Marte can successfully eat innings if the starter struggles.

As it usually does with the Angels, their success could hinge on the starting rotation. Ohtani figures to be a strong ace, but from there, many question marks arise. Are Sandoval and Suarez poised to continue building on their breakout 2021 seasons? Is Syndergaard healthy enough to return to his former self?

Can Lorenzen successfully transition back to the rotation from the bullpen? Are Detmers’ worst days behind him? If the answer to even some of these questions is yes, then the Angels are in really good shape to contend in the AL West.

If not, some personnel moves may be in the cards if the Halos want to get Trout into the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

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