Opening Day roster crystallizes as Davidson nabs last spot

March 30th, 2023

Opening Day is here for the Angels, and the club has understandably high hopes for the season ahead.

It took until the very end of the spring schedule, but manager Phil Nevin announced that left-hander has made the club -- thus solidifying the 26-player roster the team made official ahead of Thursday night's opener in Oakland.

Here's what that roster looks like:

Two-way player (1):
There’s nobody else like Ohtani, and he’ll have no limitations as a two-way player again this season, which is the last year of his contract. He’ll lead the six-man rotation and will also serve as the club’s everyday designated hitter.

Catcher (2): ,  
will begin the season on the injured list due to a hip issue, according to Nevin. O’Hoppe is the club’s No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and he got his first taste of the Majors late last season. He will be on the roster, as well as Thaiss, who is out of Minor League options and has played well this spring.

First base (1):
The club's regular starter, , will begin the year on the injured list due to an ongoing issue with headaches and insomnia. Drury is expected to slide over to man first base in his absence. could also see some time at first base as well.

Second base (1):
The Angels will use a combination of several players at second base, including Rengifo and newcomers Drury and Urshela. They are both expected to see time at first and third base when needed, and they have been getting work at shortstop this spring. They’re both right-handed hitters and will help form a platoon at first base.

Shortstop (1):  
and Rengifo both figure to see some time at shortstop, as well as second base. Fletcher dealt with a core injury that limited his production and required surgery last year, while Rengifo is coming off a breakout season. could also be in the mix at some point, as he brings elite defense, but he struggled offensively last year. Velazquez has also seen time in the outfield this spring.

Third base (1):
Rendon is fully healthy after dealing with a right wrist injury last year, and he is looking to finally put together a full, productive season with the Angels. He remains under contract through 2026.

Outfielders (4): , , ,
The Angels added Renfroe and Phillips to bolster their outfield depth this offseason. Renfroe is slated to be the starting right fielder, with Ward in left and Trout in center. Phillips is expected to be the club’s fourth outfielder.  had a strong spring but was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday alongside .

Utility players (2): David Fletcher, Jake Lamb
Fletcher can play shortstop and second base, and will be part of the positional fluidity making up much of the infield situation. Lamb, who hit .324 in 16 Spring Training games with the Angels, will provide depth with the early season absence of Walsh.

Starting pitchers (5): , , , ,
It’s a six-man rotation for the Angels, but Ohtani was already listed as a two-way player. Anderson (who was signed to a three-year deal this offseason), Sandoval, Detmers and Suarez are all locks to be part of the rotation.

The sixth spot was up for grabs for much of the spring, but in the end the role went to Davidson, who is out of Minor League options and was considered the slight favorite for the job. was considered a contender, as well, after he pitched well in the spring, but the right-hander is currently dealing with a minor groin issue, according to Nevin.

As the Angels won't need a sixth starting pitcher until nearly two weeks into the season, Davidson will pitch out of the bullpen to begin the campaign.

Relief pitchers (8): , , , , , , ,
The first seven spots are essentially locked up after the Angels signed Moore this spring, leaving a competition for the final spot in the bullpen. Wantz is the favorite for that job, but hard-throwing prospect Ben Joyce has turned heads this spring and non-roster invite has been solid. The Halos also have to decide on a closer, as Estevéz was considered the favorite but has struggled this spring. Herget could get a shot to close. Loup, Tepera and Quijada also have some experience closing games.