Perry Minasian: Angels Not Committed To Sixth Starter Yet
MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at San Francisco Giants
Mar 19, 2023; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tucker Davidson (32) throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels opted to carry an extra arm heading into the regular season, but after Griffin Canning went down with an injury, that opened the door for Tucker Davidson on the Opening Day roster.

The front office was cognizant of the team’s thin depth in the starting rotation after last season, and that coupled with their youth made it necessary to add left-hander Tyler Anderson. Anderson was stellar with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022, and with a full staff heading into this year, the Angels could lead on their arms at the front end.

With Shohei Ohtani as the ace and a bevy of options including Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Anderson, the Angels rotation is in good shape.

While it was expected they’d use a sixth starter, that may not come until a later date, according to Doug Padilla of the O.C. Register:

“There is a possibility that sixth spot, maybe we don’t use it right off the bat and maybe we do,” General Manager Perry Minasian said. “If we don’t use it right off the bat, then he’s in the bullpen and provides a link there.

“So we’ll discuss that over the course of the next week and see how the games go and how everybody feels and all those things. But is there a possibility that person pitches out of the ’pen? Absolutely.”

The Angels received a solid start from Ohtani on Opening Day, and the trend should continue with Sandoval and Detmers showing a ton of promise.

Sandoval excelled in the World Baseball Classic with his stellar outings in key games in Team Mexico’s run through the tournament, and Detmers was phenomenal in Spring Training, flashing the same promise he showed last season.

Davidson has struggled in his opportunities, but he spent the offseason reworking his slider and going to Driveline Baseball. It provides some hope for the Angels that the southpaw can still turn into a quality piece for them, but that is likely to come out of the bullpen for now.

Angels want José Quijada To Improve In ‘Electric Moments’

The WBC provided an intense atmosphere that led to many players showing all their emotion, including those of Angels reliever José Quijada, who pitched for Venezuela.

Quijada sparked down the stretch with his eccentric outbursts in big moments or after making a huge pitch. The left-hander carried a 3.98 ERA, 3.85 FIP and a 30.8% strikeout rate last season, earning himself a trusted role in the bullpen.

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