The Los Angeles Angels headed into this season with a bit of a question mark at the back end of their starting rotation, and rightfully so due to their inexperienced and unproven pitchers.
This past offseason the Halos underwent much change as they didn’t retain any of their three starting pitchers from last year in Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton. They chose instead to head in another direction by acquiring young and unproven arms in Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago via a three-team trade that involved outfielder Mark Trumbo and inserted Garrett Richards into the rotation.
With this young trio in their starting rotation they have each had their ups and downs to start the season. After making two impressive outings with a combined 0.75 ERA through 12 innings, Richards had a bumpy start on Tuesday as he allowed five runs on eight hits in eight innings of work against the Oakland Athletics. Santiago has been the exact opposite with two shaky starts to begin the season with eight runs allowed in nine innings pitched over that span. But he had a solid game on the mound in Monday’s game against the Athletics as he allowed just one run in seven innings pitched.
Finally, after Skaggs had a dominant outing in his season debut against the Houston Astros, pitching eight innings of shutout baseball, he battled through seven innings with four runs given up on nine hits against the New York Mets in his second start. Their trio of young arms will continue to have games where they will be dominant and games where they will struggle; it is just a part of the maturation process of a major league starting pitcher.
It will be important for the Halos to remain patient as they work through their struggles on the mound, which so far they have done well. As the season progresses, Skaggs, Santiago and Richards will improve as they will be gaining valuable, much-needed experience to help better themselves as pitchers. It will just fall on the Angels to keep their confidence in their young arms as they work through their pitching woes with the hope that they pan out and help solidify the back end of their starting rotation.