September 22, 2021

The Angels Need More Than Just Gerrit Cole to Get Into Playoff Contention (Baseball Essential)

The prevalent rumor across Major League Baseball concerning Gerrit Cole is that he’s going to be playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2020. At the same time, even if they ink the right-hander, the Angels aren’t a playoff team.

Yes, Cole had a captivating 2019 campaign. He recorded a 2.50 ERA and totaled 326 strikeouts in the regular season and dazzled in the Houston Astros’ playoff matchups against the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals. He commands an upper 90s fastball, throws a nasty slider, and is an innings eater.

One could argue that Cole was the best pitcher in baseball last season. Naturally, his presence on any pitching staff would instantly bolster that team’s credibility and starting rotation. That logic applies to the Angels, but it wouldn’t propel them from MLB’s cellar to an American League playoff contender.

Last season the Angels sported one of the worst starting rotations in MLB. That aspect of their ballclub was 29th in MLB in ERA (5.64), 27th in strikeouts (640), eighth in home runs surrendered (144), and 18th in opponent batting average (.260) across just 681.0 innings — which was the lightest workload in the…

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