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OC Register: Angels GM Perry Minasian says Alex Cobb trade puts rotation in ‘a decent spot’

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After adding Alex Cobb and José Quintana to a rotation that was one of the Angels’ biggest problems last year, Perry Minasian stopped short of saying the rotation is now a finished product, but he sounded confident nonetheless.

“We’re always looking to add depth and impact,” the Angels GM said on a conference call Wednesday morning. “That’s something we’ll continue to pursue as the season goes along. But right now we feel like we’re in a decent spot.”

While skeptics and many Angels fans who had their hearts set on Trevor Bauer may disagree, Minasian pointed out that the rotation’s issues in 2020 were isolated to the back half.

The top three starters – Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning – combined for a 3.91 ERA in 34 starts. In the other 26 games, Angels starters had a 9.22 ERA. The Angels were 18-16 when the top three pitchers started and 8-18 in the other games.

“Being able to add quality depth to the rotation with Quintana and obviously now Cobb was really, really important to us,” Minasian said.

Obviously, the Angels are also hoping to get more out of Shohei Ohtani, who Minasian said is healthy and eager to go.

Ohtani and Quintana barely pitched in 2020 because of injuries. Cobb produced a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts with the Baltimore Orioles.

Minasian sees more in Cobb, though. In explaining why he sees upside in the 33-year-old, he cited “going from the AL East to AL West, pitching in different environments, pitching on what we feel like it’s going to be a very competitive club.”

Minasian also said Cobb’s “elite changeup is a swing-and-miss pitch that also gets ground balls,” which should play well with an infield defense featuring third baseman Anthony Rendon, shortstop José Iglesias and second baseman David Fletcher.

Finally, Minasian cited Cobb’s makeup, including an endorsement from Joe Maddon, who managed him during his early years in Tampa Bay. Bundy and Iglesias, who both played with Cobb in Baltimore, also gave him strong reviews, Minasian said.

“This is the type of player that has a huge impact on the guys around him,” Minasian said. “I look forward to having a Canning, a (Patrick) Sandoval, a Heaney, a Bundy with these types of guys. … I think he’s not only going to help us on the mound, but he’s going to make us better in the locker room and help other guys improve.”

Could the Angels still make a play for one of the more prominent starters on the market, perhaps Jake Odorizzi or James Paxton, if not Bauer?

Minasian was noncommittal.

“We have the ownership group, Arte and Carole Moreno, and they’re more than willing to add to this club,” Minasian said. “If the right situation’s out there that makes sense, we’ll look to improve the rotation, the bullpen, the position player group, anywhere we can.”

One potential need beyond the pitching staff remains in the outfield. Maddon said in December he felt Jo Adell could use more seasoning in Triple-A, but the Angels haven’t brought in any prominent outfielders who could take his place. They signed journeyman Scott Schebler, but otherwise the right field competition for Adell is mostly Taylor Ward.

“It’s a competition,” Minasian said. “I wouldn’t name anybody the right field at this point.”


Minasian said he could not comment on the case involving pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who is currently suspended while the Angels and MLB investigate allegations that he had inappropriate contacts with at least five female media members. …

Minasian said Franklin Barreto is now 100% after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of last season. Barreto figures to compete for a utility infield spot with Luis Rengifo. …

The Angels claimed utility player Robel Garcia on waivers from the New York Mets. Garcia, 27, has a .775 OPS in 72 big-league at-bats, all with the Chicago Cubs in 2019. Garcia played second, right and left in the big leagues.

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