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Seven Risers and Fallers this year


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Which Angels have risen and fallen in terms of "stock value" and the degree to which they've changed their outlook for next year, in this short season thus far?

Risers

1. Dylan Bundy - He gives the Angels a good #3, borderline #2. Too bad he only has one year of control left, but still: At the least he bridges the gap to Reid Detmers, Chris Rodriguez, Jose Soriano, Garret Stallings, and other young pitchers in the low minors. Dylan could be a nice trade deadline chip if the Angels suck again in 2021.

2. Jared Walsh - Finally: A productive bat from the farm system. We can hope that he solves first base for the next half decade.

3. Max Stassi - After a poor showing in 2019, he seems to be putting the promise he showed in 2018 together.

4. Jaime Barria - He's making the most of his opportunity. Why didn't he get much of a chance last year, again?

5. Mike Mayers - We can be hesitantly optimistic that those gaudy peripherals are for real.

6. Andrew Heaney - Quietly pitching the best he has as an Angel. Ditto what was said re: Bundy. He is, at the least, a bridge pitcher to the younger cohorts, and possibly a trade chip next July.

7. Taylor Ward - Overshadowed by Walsh, Ward could be the starting right fielder next season, at least until Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh are ready for big boy baseball.

 

Fallers

1. Shohei Ohtani - The question mark just gets bigger; not only is his arm unknown, but his bat disappeared. The talent is there, though, so we can hope for--at least--a return to hitting form, but there's no way around the fact what a loss 2020 has been for Shohei.

2. Jo Adell - Jo should spend most/all of 2021 in AAA. We can still like his long-term potential, but the shine has definitely dimmed.

3. Ty Buttrey/Keynan Middleton/Hansel Robles (take your pick) - These were the guys that were supposed to anchor the rotation, but all have been poor to terrible.

4. Luis Rengifo - I'm still hopeful for the future, but not the step forward we hoped for.

5. Jose Suarez - Ouch.

6. Griffin Canning - He's been OK, I guess, but was hoping for more; no progress from last year, but we can still expect improvement given the fact that he's still only pitched 140.2 major league innings.

7. Patrick Sandoval - I have faith he'll come around, but a lost year for Sandoval when some of us (me) pencilled him in as a darkhorse to surprise and be a rotation workhorse.

I don't count Matt Andriese, Julio Teheran, Jason Castro, etc, because they were just one-year rentals anyway (other than Andriese). The rest have overall held steady, for the most part. Justin Upton looked like a faller but has stabilized. There are some questions with Mike Trout's defense, but he tends to fluctuate and hopefully will work on it - although a shift to LF might be in order in the not too distant future.

 

Edited by Angelsjunky
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One thing I wish the Angels FO would look into this off-season is extending Bundy.  I would seriously look at add an additional 3 yr extension -- so combined around 4/60 for the next four years.  That's some really good money and security for Bundy and a decent deal for a team so desperate for SP and an innings eater.  Now if he won't at all, then I'm more inclined to trade him during 2021 (unless we are contending).  But you don't seem to see these types of deals much in MLB.

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Good stuff @Angelsjunky

I would say that if Canning's next two starts are solid, I'd move him into the risers field. He's a couple good starts away from having a sub 4 ERA in what was supposed to be a lost year for him with regards to his elbow injury in spring training. 

Man this team is so close to having a really solid club. I'm actually excited about this offseason and 2021.

The guys you noted in the risers section have reinvigorated my optimism. 

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I think adding Fletcher to the risers list should be in order. I'm pretty sure that he has exceeded almost everyone's expectations for this year. He's a very good contact hitter, and he's doing much better at taking walks this year too. Outside of Simmons he is probably our best defensive player. He can also be used to play several defensive positions as well. We really don't have any other super-sub's on this team that can do what he does defensively.

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12 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

Good stuff @Angelsjunky

I would say that if Canning's next two starts are solid, I'd move him into the risers field. He's a couple good starts away from having a sub 4 ERA in what was supposed to be a lost year for him with regards to his elbow injury in spring training. 

Man this team is so close to having a really solid club. I'm actually excited about this offseason and 2021.

The guys you noted in the risers section have reinvigorated my optimism. 

Yeah, Canning is hard to classify as a faller for me too because the injury seemed kind of ominous when it was announced.  I would have liked to see him pitch better but I'm just happy he seems to be healthy and the arm issue may not have been as serious as first believed.

Also -- since his 8 inning game four starts ago.  OPS Allowed of .678, a 3.57 ERA while still being a tad unlucky .317 BaBip.

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31 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

I would say that if Canning's next two starts are solid, I'd move him into the risers field. 

Honestly, if he makes his next two starts, I would put him there regardless of the outcome (within reason, of course). 

His movement and location aren't quite what I'd hoped to see this season, but I also never expected him to make 10 (or 12) starts. I am beyond pleased to see that his arm has held up. 

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2 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

I don't count Andriese, Teheran, Castro, etc, because they were just one-year rentals anyway. The rest have overall held steady, for the most part. Upton looked like a faller but has stabilized. There are some questions with Trout's defense, but he tends to fluctuate and hopefully will work on it - although a shift to LF might be in order.

 

Andriese is actually under team control for next year, too.  He's looked pretty good in relief of late, so he could be a "riser" as well after a tough start.

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1 hour ago, Fourts said:

One thing I wish the Angels FO would look into this off-season is extending Bundy.  I would seriously look at add an additional 3 yr extension -- so combined around 4/60 for the next four years.  That's some really good money and security for Bundy and a decent deal for a team so desperate for SP and an innings eater.  Now if he won't at all, then I'm more inclined to trade him during 2021 (unless we are contending).  But you don't seem to see these types of deals much in MLB.

Absolutely.  IMO, we should try to get Bauer and extend one of Bundy or Heaney, given we likely can't afford 3 high-priced SP long-term.

So, I'd say - sign Bauer, extend Bundy, and we'll have a core of Bauer, Bundy, Canning, and Barria, with Detmers joining sometime in 2022.  CRod is a wild card based on health, but if he can stay healthy, he'd be a SP consideration, too.  Suarez and Sandoval both have potential, but obviously we have to see more from them first.

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2 hours ago, Chuckster70 said:

Good stuff @Angelsjunky

I would say that if Canning's next two starts are solid, I'd move him into the risers field. He's a couple good starts away from having a sub 4 ERA in what was supposed to be a lost year for him with regards to his elbow injury in spring training. 

Man this team is so close to having a really solid club. I'm actually excited about this offseason and 2021.

The guys you noted in the risers section have reinvigorated my optimism. 

Yeah, I hear you about Canning. I was hesitant, but I think he's overall been a tad towards disappointing.

Also, agree on how close they are to being pretty good.

Hey, if I knew you were going to publish, I would have fluffed it up a bit.

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56 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Yeah, I hear you about Canning. I was hesitant, but I think he's overall been a tad towards disappointing.

Also, agree on how close they are to being pretty good.

Hey, if I knew you were going to publish, I would have fluffed it up a bit.

You can go fluff it some more still. 🙂

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4 hours ago, Blarg said:

Canning was hanging on for dear life inning after inning. He was far from dominant but he was lucky as hell with bases loaded and a comebacker so he could go home to first for a double play. That's dumb luck, not skill. 

That is what it felt like to me but he allowed virtually all of his runners in the 1st and 3rd inning.  He had two bases loaded situations, and then in another inning he allowed a walk, while also striking out the side.  

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9 hours ago, Blarg said:

Canning was hanging on for dear life inning after inning. He was far from dominant but he was lucky as hell with bases loaded and a comebacker so he could go home to first for a double play. That's dumb luck, not skill. 

 

4 hours ago, Stradling said:

That is what it felt like to me but he allowed virtually all of his runners in the 1st and 3rd inning.  He had two bases loaded situations, and then in another inning he allowed a walk, while also striking out the side.  

 

Griffin Canning only allowed one baserunner in innings that were not the 1st and 3rd. He had a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th inning. In the 5th inning he walked one batter but struck out the side. Definitely was not hanging on for dear life inning after inning and was actually shutting their lineup down more often than not.

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10 hours ago, Blarg said:

Canning was hanging on for dear life inning after inning. He was far from dominant but he was lucky as hell with bases loaded and a comebacker so he could go home to first for a double play. That's dumb luck, not skill. 

He was masterfully lulling them into a false sense of security.  Canning was playing big brain games.

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As for Suarez, this was a rough year for him.  I believe he tested positive for COVID, had a late start, and things just didn't come together for him.

That said, I do feel Suarez has good potential, and I think, with an offseason of guidance and instruction from Callaway + co, he could rebound next year.

We had a certain focus and direction under our last pitching coach, and it's likely that changed entirely with Callaway.  That likely means a transition time for a number of our pitchers, and I think some will adapt more quickly than others.

I wouldn't be surprised if Suarez has a good showing next year, but we'll see.

All that said, next year, we have 4 guys who are almost assuredly part of the rotation - Bundy, Heaney, Canning, and Barria (Barria is out of options after this year, so it's likely he's on the big league club all year, barring injury).  The hope is that we sign a FA SP, which will give us 5 SP in the majors, but I would anticipate Suarez and Sandoval being SP6/SP7 in the minors.  Knowing how injuries always play a role, that means they will both likely be counted on to make a significant amount of starts.  Ohtani, of course, is a wild card factor in our SP depth.

To successfully navigate through a 162 game season, teams usually need around 8-9 starters to absorb 162 starts.  To have that, it requires us to have several pitchers who have options and can shuttle back and forth as needed.  Thus, if we go out and sign a Bauer (or Gausman), we'd likely have enough SP depth to survive a full year, with Bauer/FA SP, Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, Sandoval, Suarez, Ohtani.  If we sign Bauer, we likely have little left to spend, but I imagine there'll be a number of under-the-radar type starters who we can offer 1-year deals to and take a gamble on to fill out the backend of our rotation.

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Agree re: Suarez.

I'm a bit more bullish on Sandoval and think he could be right there with Canning and Barria as a solid #3-4 next year. 

Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, Sandoval and Ohtani aren't a bad rotation - just some question marks. Bauer would be the top choice but is unlikely, so I'd go with someone like Gausman/Odorizzi/Stroman, and try to repeat the Bundy experience. Then you have, going into 2021:

Five Man: Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, New Pitcher 1

Wildcard: Ohtani (sixth man if healthy)

Depth: New Pitcher 2, Sandoval, Suarez

The depth can be middle relievers until someone goes down with an injury, and provide insurance for if Barria regresses. 

 

Edited by Angelsjunky
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3 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Agree re: Suarez.

I'm a bit more bullish on Sandoval and think he could be right there with Canning and Barria as a solid #3-4 next year. 

Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, Sandoval and Ohtani aren't a bad rotation - just some question marks. Bauer would be the top choice but is unlikely, so I'd go with someone like Gausman/Odorizzi/Stroman, and try to repeat the Bundy experience. Then you have, going into 2021:

Five Man: Bundy, Heaney, Canning, Barria, New Pitcher 1

Wildcard: Ohtani (sixth man if healthy)

Depth: New Pitcher 2, Sandoval, Suarez

The depth can be middle relievers until someone goes down with an injury, and provide insurance for if Barria regresses. 

 

Yeah, I like this and think it's very reasonable.  While I'd love Bauer, Gausman is a pretty solid option too and should free up payroll for another SP or significant relievers.

Looking at the pen, I do think we have some good potential.  Currently, we have Mayers, Pena, Andriese, Buttrey, Robles, Bedrosian, Barnes, Middleton, Millner, Quijada, Reyes, Anderson (later in the year).  That's a lot of arms (although I am somewhat expecting Robles to be DFA'd and possibly Bedrosian).  Some will assuredly struggle, but there's solid potential in that pen.  If Sandoval ends up converting to a reliever (probably depends on how he shows in ST and the other SP moves we may make), then that pen likely improves significantly, too.

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7 minutes ago, nate said:

A bit harsh on Canning.  Remember even Weave was real up and down his first couple years.  Canning is still young, I think he will be at least a solid middle of the rotation pitcher for the Angels.

Yeah, I was unsure when I wrote it and have re-thought it since. All things tolled, his performance this year has been fine. Not great, but probably a borderline riser - if only because he was healthy and may have improved a bit as he went along. I hope to see a step forward next year, maybe cutting half a run off his ERA.

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