The Angels were extremely active this offseason but did little to address their rotation outside of the acquisition of rapidly budding star Shohei Ohtani. Brilliant as Ohtani’s has been early in the season, the Halos find themselves with three starters on the disabled list (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney and JC Ramirez) and limited depth beyond what’s on the big league roster. Angels GM Billy Eppler spoke with Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times about the lack of depth moves to address his starting staff this winter. “Nine felt like a reasonable number,” said Eppler of his starting options. The Halos felt they had a greater need to deepen their infield mix and, accordingly, dedicated resources to the acquisitions of Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler. Eppler notes that if it’s determined that they need to further add to the rotation, owner Arte Moreno is likely to support those needs. As Eppler points out, Moreno took on notable salary with just a month to go in the 2017 season, adding Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips in a pair of high-profile August trades.
More out of Anaheim…
- Maria Guardado of MLB.com notes that the injury to Ramirez is particularly concerning. The right-hander landed on the DL over the weekend with tightness in his right forearm, which is ominous for any pitcher given that it can be a precursor to a diagnosis of UCL damage. But the 29-year-old Ramirez already missed the final six weeks of the 2017 season due to a slight tear in his UCL, which he and the team elected to treat with stem-cell therapy rather than surgery. Shaikin notes in his column that an announcement on Ramirez’s status is likely to be made today. Guardado adds that Shoemaker is undergoing additional tests today, so a more precise diagnosis on him could be known soon. In more positive news, manager Mike Scioscia expressed confidence that the team will get Heaney back in the near future (via Guardado’s column).
- As for Kinsler, he tells ESPN’s Mark Schwarz that he’ll be activated from the disabled list for Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. A groin strain cost Kinsler the first 10 days of the regular season, prompting the Angels to shift would-be third baseman Zack Cozart from the hot corner to second base in his absence. Luis Valbuena has been lined up at third base with Cozart at second, but Kinsler’s return will give the Angels the defensive alignment they drew up this offseason.