Angels southpaw Patrick Sandoval is out for the year with a stress fracture in his back, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter). Sandoval was placed the injured list on August 15th, but the severity of the injury was not clear at that time.
For Sandoval, this is an unfortunate setback right at a time when he appeared to be establishing himself in manager Joe Maddon’s rotation. For the Angels, then, this is particularly disheartening considering how much they’ve struggled to find and develop arms.
Still, the 25-year-old can count 2021 as a success. He has a 3.62 ERA/4.03 FIP in 87 innings with a 25.9 percent strikeout rate, 9.9 percent walk rate, and solid 50.7 percent groundball rate. Sandoval’s walk rate remains a little high, but paired with an above-average strikeout rate, he’s been able to limit hard contact and post the best home run rate of his young career.
In the long run, the Angels will slot Sandoval into a rotation slot for 2022. Their success next year may very well depend on who else joins Sandoval and Shohei Ohtani in that rotation. Griffin Canning — also out for the season — will join them, and they’re sure to look for outside additions. Promising young arms like Reid Detmers, Chris Rodriguez, and Packy Naughton will also get a look.
For now, however, the Angels will continue to make due. Alex Cobb is working to return soon from injury after a better-than-usual start to the season. Cooper Criswell gets the start tonight, making his Major League debut.