Here are Angels' options for No. 6 starter

November 22nd, 2022

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger's Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The Angels made a major addition to their rotation last week, signing lefty Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal worth $39 million.

Anderson, 32, is coming off a career year with the Dodgers, as he went 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 30 outings (28 starts). He was an All-Star for the first time in his seven-year career and also struck out 138 batters in a career-high 178 2/3 innings.

The Angels are going with a six-man rotation next year and they have five starters who are considered locks, with two-way star Shohei Ohtani leading a staff that’s set to include Anderson and young lefties Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Reid Detmers.

The Angels have one spot left to fill in the rotation, and general manager Perry Minasian wouldn’t rule out adding another starter via free agency or trade this offseason. Right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who became a free agent after the season, has expressed interest in a return, and it can’t be ruled out.

But if the Angels decide to go with an in-house option for the sixth spot in the rotation, here’s a look at a few of their candidates:

Silseth, 22, was dominant at Double-A Rocket City, posting a 2.28 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 83 innings, but he struggled a bit in his first taste of the Majors, posting a 6.59 ERA in seven starts. Silseth was the first player to reach the Majors from the 2021 Draft, and he still has plenty of potential. There's a chance he could be moved to the bullpen down the road, but he'll compete for a spot as a starter this spring.

Canning missed the 2022 season with a back injury, but he is currently on a throwing program and is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Canning, 26, has a career 4.73 ERA with 214 strikeouts in 209 1/3 innings over three seasons with the club. His best year was the shortened 2020 season, when he had a 3.99 ERA in 11 starts and won a Gold Glove.

Like Canning, Rodriguez didn’t pitch in 2022, as he dealt with a right shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery. But Rodriguez is also expected to be ready for Spring Training and was solid as a rookie in '21, recording a 3.64 ERA with 29 strikeouts and no homers allowed in 29 2/3 innings, mostly in relief. Injuries have been an issue throughout the 24-year-old’s career, but when healthy, he's electric on the mound.

Barría was excellent in long relief this past season, posting a 2.61 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings. But he made just one start during a doubleheader against the Mariners on Aug. 6. Otherwise, the Angels preferred to keep the 26-year-old in his long-relief role, because he helped the other relievers with his ability to go multiple innings. Barría is likely to be in that role again, but he will get a chance to compete for a rotation spot this spring.

Davidson was acquired in the trade that sent Raisel Iglesias to the Braves on Aug. 2, but the lefty struggled in eight starts with the Angels down the stretch. He had a 6.87 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 22 walks in 36 2/3 innings. The Angels have been working with him to improve his slider and changeup, as the 26-year-old still has some upside.

Daniel, 25, was called up by the Angels late in the season, but he has yet to make his Major League debut. He pitched well at Triple-A Salt Lake, with a 4.49 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings. Daniel has a career 4.19 ERA with 237 strikeouts in 217 innings in the Minors. He'll give the Angels depth at Triple-A and is likely to make his debut at some point next year.