Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Related News

Key dates, questions for Angels' 2020 season

@RhettBollinger
January 16, 2020

ANAHEIM -- The Angels are ready to put 2019 behind them for a multitude of reasons and are aiming to make the postseason in 2020 for the first time since ’14. The club made a splash early in the offseason, hiring Joe Maddon as manager, before surprisingly signing the best

ANAHEIM -- The Angels are ready to put 2019 behind them for a multitude of reasons and are aiming to make the postseason in 2020 for the first time since ’14.

The club made a splash early in the offseason, hiring Joe Maddon as manager, before surprisingly signing the best free-agent position player available in third baseman Anthony Rendon during the Winter Meetings. It’s a clear signal that the Halos are looking to compete next season after losing 90 games for the first time in 20 years.

The Astros remain the favorites in the American League West, while the A’s are coming off consecutive 97-win seasons and the Rangers completely revamped their pitching staff this offseason. So the division figures to be very interesting in 2020, with four clubs trying to compete, along with the rebuilding Mariners. Here’s a look at a few key dates and questions for the Angels heading into '20.

When does Spring Training start?
Angels pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 11 with the first workout set for Feb. 12. The Halos open the Cactus League season with split-squad action on Feb. 22, hosting the Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 12:10 p.m. PT and visiting the White Sox at 12:05 p.m. PT in Glendale.

The Angels finish Spring Training with their annual Freeway Series against the Dodgers, playing at Angel Stadium on March 22 at 5:07 p.m. PT and two games at Dodger Stadium on March 23-24 at 7:10 p.m. PT

When is Opening Day?
The regular-season opener comes on Thursday, March 26 against the Astros at 4:10 p.m. PT at Minute Maid Park. The Angels then get to play in the first-ever game at the Rangers' Globe Life Field on March 31 as part of a three-game series.

Compete 2020 schedule for the Angels

The home opener is against the Astros on Friday, April 3 at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium.

Do the Angels have enough pitching?
With the addition of Rendon, the Angels figure to have one of the best offenses and defenses in the American League but do they have enough pitching to contend with Houston, Oakland and Texas?

Shohei Ohtani will pitch once a week, while the Angels are counting on bounce-back seasons from veterans Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney, and they added veteran Julio Teheran via free agency. They also acquired Matt Andriese via a trade with the D-backs, and he can serve as both a starter and reliever. Los Angeles also has several intriguing youngsters, such as Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Jaime Barria.

It’s also unclear exactly how Maddon and new pitching coach Mickey Callaway will shuffle the rotation around Ohtani, as they could use a modified six-man rotation and give pitchers extra rest when needed. Ohtani is likely to pitch only on Sundays, much like his rookie season in 2018, so the Angels will have to schedule the rest of the rotation with that in mind.

Is everyone healthy heading into Spring Training?
The Angels saw several key players finish the 2019 season on the injured list, including Mike Trout (right foot surgery), Justin Upton (knee tendinitis), Canning (right elbow inflammation), Cam Bedrosian (right forearm inflammation), Max Stassi (right hip surgery) Félix Peña (right knee surgery) and Ohtani (left knee surgery).

But of that group, only Ohtani and Stassi figure to be affected come Spring Training. Ohtani underwent left knee surgery in September that saw him push back his rehab by a couple months, so the Halos have to determine if he’ll be ready to pitch by Opening Day. Stassi underwent hip surgery, and his recovery has been quicker than expected, but he still hasn’t been cleared for Spring Training.

The rest of the group is expected to be ready for Spring Training, including Trout, who had a neuroma removed from his right foot in September, but was able to have a normal offseason.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.