The Los Angeles Angels earlier this month made a three-team trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox that sent outfielder Mark Trumbo to Arizona, and in return Los Angeles received two young starting pitchers that included Tyler Skaggs.
The 22-year-old has played two years in the Majors with the Diamondback as he has made 13 career starts holding a 5.43 ERA with a 3-6 record, 57 strikeouts, 28 walks, and 68 hits allowed in 68.0 innings pitched. In the 2013 regular season he made seven starts during a two-month stretch from late May to the end of July, where he had a 5.12 ERA with a 2-3 record, 36 strikeouts, 38 hits allowed in 38.2 innings pitched.
What Skaggs demonstrated last season was that he has much improvement to do as a pitcher as he failed to reach six innings pitched in four of his starts giving up a combined 19 earned runs on 27 hits including five home runs and 11 walks in 18.2 innings pitched. With that said, the lefty also had two impressive starts within that span as evident by his July 5 start against the Colorado Rockies where he pitched 8.0 innings giving up just three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. He also made a solid start on May 27 against the Texas Rangers as he threw for six innings allowing only three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.
The trade for Skaggs was an interesting move as the Halos had drafted him out of Santa Monica High school as the 40th overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and then traded him as part of the deal with Arizona in exchange for pitcher Dan Haren. Despite his high ERA and shaky starts so far in his young career, Skaggs has shown the Angels’ organization that he has potential to becoming a good pitcher as that they were willing to take a chance on as they traded away one of their power hitters in Trumbo in exchange for him.
As a member of the Angels, it is likely that Skaggs next season will go through stretches where he struggles, which is something that all young pitchers typically go through. But it will also be a chance for the young lefty to grow and develop as pitcher as he will be able to find what makes him more effective and a dominant pitcher on the mound. Skaggs will not have a lot of expectations on his shoulders as he is expected to be either the third or fourth starter on the team and will have the opportunity to learn from established pitchers in Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
The Angels may have put a lot of faith in their newly acquired young arms, but it may be risk worth taking as there is a possibility that both Skaggs and Hector Santiago can pan out to be viable starting pitchers in their rotation for years to come.