2021 Los Angeles Angels: Pitching Continues To Be A Weak Spot

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If you followed the Los Angeles Angels 2020 season then you know what their pitching was like. Bad. The 2021 Los Angeles Angels pitching come in then with a lot of question marks as spring training is now less than a week away.

2020 was seen as a work in progress for starting pitching and while there were some nice surprises in Dylan Bundy, the Angels were anything but a competent pitching staff overall.

The Angels overall ranked 13th of 15 teams in 2020 with a 5.09 ERA against the rest of the American League. They were 14th in runs, 13th in earned runs and 12th in home runs. Their team total FIP was 4.49. 

It has been an Achilles heel of the franchise for so long, that even with Perry Minasian’s hiring as GM and some moves he has made so far this offseason, that alone won’t convince Angel fans that anything is going to change anytime soon.

2021 Los Angeles Angels Starting Rotation 

As it stands now, the 2021 Los Angeles Angels starting staff will include Alex Cobb, recently acquired from the Orioles, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, and Jose Quintana. Shohei Ohtani should see some starts as well.

Cobb as we know was shipped over from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Jahmai Jones. Cobb started 10 games for the Orioles in 2020. He went 2-5 with a 4.30 earned run average and a WHIP of 1.338. For his career, Cobb has a record of 55-57 in 156 starts with a 3.88 ERA and WHIP of 1.265.

These aren’t exactly numbers that make you feel confident that the rotation has been bolstered but they are what they are. If you expect or think that Cobb might have a career season, you would have to go back to 2013 and 2014 for some numbers that would include an 11-3 or 10-9 record with the Tampa Bay Rays where his ERA was below three. 

Dylan Bundy was the steal of last year for The Angels where former GM Billy Eppler plucked him from the Orioles and he finally fulfilled his draft promise. Bundy went going 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA, a WHIP of 1.036, and FIP of 2.95. Those were in the shortened 60 game season but Bundy looks to be trending in the right direction. He still gave up a 41 home runs in 2018 with Baltimore and went 8-16 that season. 

Andrew Heaney is another pitcher who, if he lives up to his potential, could really help this rotation. The Miami Marlins drafted Heaney in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. Heaney was the ninth overall selection. The Angles got him in 2014 and he has struggled with injuries going forward from there with a Tommy John Surgery in 2016 and a late-season return in 2017.

2018 and 2019 saw inconsistent starts and some injuries again and he finally opened the shortened 2020 season for the Angels where he had a record of 4-3 in 12 starts. He struck out 70 batters in ​66 2⁄3 innings.

Griffin Canning was the Angels 47th pick in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2019, but his season was cut short when the Angels announced his severe elbow inflammation. He went 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA and 96 strikeouts.

2020 saw Canning go 2-3 with a 3.99 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 11 starts. He had three defensive runs saved and made just one error out of 16 chances. Canning won his first Gold Glove award as well. The 2021 Los Angeles Angels will be counting on him to improve again.

Jose Quintana comes over from the Chicago Cubs, after being signed to a one-year, $8 million deal. He should round out the starting rotation.

Quintana’s days with the Chicago White Sox proved to be his best. Between 2013 and 2016 with Chicago, he had a 3.35 ERA in 814.2 innings pitched to go along with an ERA+ of 119.

A Chicago Cub between 2017-2020, he developed a strong relationship with Angels manager Joe Maddon in his time there but he couldn’t recapture some of the same numbers with the White Sox.

His era was almost a full run higher at 4.28 ERA in 544 innings to go along with 529 strikeouts. 2020 was a disaster for him with injuries in spring training and only 10 innings of relief work in a shortened season.

In Quintana, The 2021 Los Angels Angels do not need a repeat of Julio Teheran, who signed a one year deal and was a disaster. With a positive COVID-19 test and then no debut until August 2020, Teherán finished the season with a career-high 10.05 ERA, going 0-4 in 10 appearances. 

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.