The Angels have one of the best rotations in all of baseball from #1 to #4. They will have competition for the #5 job between three capable pitchers. Here is a look at the Angels’ starting rotation as of today:
#1: Jered Weaver: 29-year old righty Jered Weaver finished #2 in the voting for the A.L. Cy Young Award last year as he was awesome. Weaver pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Angels last year and he was 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He has now pitched in 177 games (all starts) in his first six years with the Angels and he is 82-47 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Weaver is a workhorse at the top of the rotation and I expect him to be one of the top pitchers in all of baseball once again in 2012.
#2: Dan Haren: 31-year old righty Dan Haren pitched really well in the long shadow of Jered Weaver last year. Haren pitched in 35 games (34 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 16-10 with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. In his first two years with the Angels, Haren has pitched in 49 games (48 starts) in which he is 21-14 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Haren, like Weaver, is a horse at the top of the rotation. He likes to pitch late into games and give the bullpen a break. Haren has now pitched in 266 games (256 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 107-84 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
#3: C.J. Wilson: The Angels stole 31-year old lefty C.J. Wilson away from the A.L. West rival Texas Rangers. Wilson pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has now pitched in 325 games (73 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 43-35 with 52 saves, a 3.60 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Wilson started his career as a reliever, but he has been outstanding the last two years as a starting pitcher. The Angels hope he keeps up the good work for them, and I think he will.
#4: Ervin Santana: 29-year old righty Ervin Santana will be one of the best #4 starters on the planet in 2012. He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Angels last year and he was 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Santana has now pitched in 206 games (203 starts) in his first 7 years with the Angels and he is 87-67 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Santana is in line for a good year for the Angels in 2012, as he always seems to pitch well in even numbered years for some reason.
#5: Jerome Williams: 30-year old righty Jerome Williams will battle Garrett Richards and lefty Brad Mills for the #5 spot in the starting rotation this spring. Williams pitched in 10 games (6 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has now pitched in 86 games (77 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 27-29 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Williams will have the edge when spring training opens as he pitched good for the Angels last year and he has more experience than the guys challenging him.
Garrett Richards: 23-year old righty Garrett Richards got his first taste of the majors last year and it didn’t go too well. Richards pitched in 7 games (3 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He also pitched in 22 games (21 starts) in AA-ball last year and he was 12-2 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. I have a feeling that Richards will start 2012 in AAA, but you never know.
Brad Mills: 26-year old lefty Brad Mills will be a longshot for the job. He came to the Angels over the winter in the deal that sent catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays. Mills pitched in 5 games (4 starts) for the Blue Jays last year and he was 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP. Mills also pitched in 24 games (all starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Mills has had issues in the majors so far in his career. He has pitched in 14 games (9 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 2-3 with a 8.57 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP. Maybe a change of scenery will do him some good.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2012: A+++