Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Angels' Starting Rotation: Reasons for Optimism

The Angels' pitching has been (pretty much) dreadful. Since the All-Star Break, they have the 2nd best record in baseball, but the 23rd best pitching (26th for the whole season). Their starting rotation has the 4th most wins in baseball, with the 22nd best ERA.

Still, there are reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic about their starting rotation (more about the bullpen to follow). If they make the playoffs, they will need the front end of the rotation to be much better than it has been because they can't count on the offense to keep scoring over 7 runs/game forever.

It's been bad, no doubt about it, and their incredible offense has carried them, but there are glimmers of hope.

John Lackey
Post Break 4-1, 1.79 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 45.1 IP
He has been arguably the best starting pitcher in the AL since the Break, going 4-1 with the 2nd lowest ERA - Cliff Lee)

Ervin Santana
Post Break
: 5-1, 4.84 ERA, .241 BAA
vs. Twins: 0-1, 10.24 ERA
vs. Rest of League: 5-0, 3.34 ERA, 29 H, 29 IP, 24 SO
Pre Break: 1-5, 7.81 ERA, .349 BAA

Jared Weaver
August 14 vs. Baltimore: 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 3 SO, 4 BB
Previous 2 outings: 2-0, 3.85 ERA, 13.2 IP, 9 H, 22 SO, 3 BB
Pre Break: 10-3, 3.22 ERA, .222 BAA
Post Break: 2-1, 7.44 ERA, .303
Overall: 12-4, 4.12 ERA

Lackey is dominating everyone right now. Santana appears to be pitching pretty well, aside from his problems against the Twins. Unless he's hurt, Weaver is too good of a pitcher to keep pitching this badly, and his 22 SO/3 BB in his 2 starts before his Orioles' start is encouraging. The back of the rotation is highly questionable (Sean O'Sullivan, Trevor Bell, Joe Saunders is on the DL), but they're scoring so much it doesn't much matter right now.

If they do make it to the playoffs:
John Lackey: 2-3, 3.39 ERA, 58.1 IP, 9 GS (WP - Game 7, 2002 WS)
Ervin Santana: 1-1, 6.88 ERA, 17 IP, 2 GS
Jared Weaver: 1-1, 2.57 ERA, 7 IP, 1 GS

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