Joe Maddon: Angels Considering Using 5-Man Starting Rotation
Joe Maddon
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are among several teams who have used a six-man starting rotation this season, beginning the year with a staff of Noah Syndergaard, Shohei Ohtani, Reid Detmers, Michael Lorenzen, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez.

Suarez was recently optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake and replaced by Jhonathan Diaz, who threw five shutout innings against the Washington Nationals before being sent back down to the Angels’ top Minor League affiliate himself.

The transactions meant the Angels only had five starters, and Manager Joe Maddon revealed that could become permanent at some point this season, per Sam Blum of The Athletic:

“There might be a time, with the season in progress, they’re in pretty good shape … that you might want to cut somebody out,” Maddon said. “That’s weirdly reversed from back in our Rays days. We used to go five and then we’d go six after the All-Star break. This is obviously in reverse, but I kind of like it.”

While Maddon appears to be in favor of a five-man rotation, a six-man staff may benefit the Angels even more considering Syndergaard and Lorenzen pitched limited innings last season.

Ohtani is also the club’s everyday designated hitter, and Maddon doesn’t want to potentially mess with his workload:

“I wouldn’t want to push him to that,” Maddon said. “He’s been very comfortable, and I think he’s pretty good. I would not want to mess with his schedule. Yes, that’s true.”

Chase Silseth turned in an impressive debut, and Diaz has since made another start during their doubleheader. Both could look to cement themselves as long-term options for their sixth starter spot.

Regardless of what route the Angels choose, Maddon will certainly have his players’ health in mind when deciding whether to stick to a five-man rotation or go back to a six-man staff.

Angels sign veteran outfielder Juan Lagares to Minor League deal

Before the Angels’ comeback win over the Nationals in the final game of their three-game series, L.A. added some necessary outfield depth with the addition of the veteran Juan Lagares on a Minor League deal.

Lagares is an above-average defender whose skill-set can be maximized in a purely matchup-based role. In 2021, he posted .739 on-base plus slugging and a 97 wRC+, and although that is around league-average, is still useful to spell players who are worse off against lefties.

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