LA Angels: Andrew Heaney to start opening day, but why?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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The LA Angels have chosen Andrew Heaney to be their opening day starter, making the selection based on tenure with the team.

The LA Angels announced Andrew Heaney will get the call as the starting pitcher when opening day comes in less than three weeks. Consider this the first loss on new manager Joe Maddon’s unofficial record with the team.

Heaney was selected as the starting pitcher essentially because of his long tenure in Los Angeles. He has pitched five seasons for the team. Due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2016, he has had only one full season, making 30 starts in 2018.

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I’m thinking the casual Angels fan may not be able to pick this guy out of a lineup, yet Maddon has tabbed him his opening day starter.

Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy were also considered for the gig, but since they are new to the team they will fall in second and third in the rotation, respectively.

Teheran has 150 more career starts than Heaney, albeit in an Atlanta Braves uniform, and has drawn the opening day assignment six times before. Heaney has twenty career wins to his name while Teheran has won ten or more games in five seasons.

Bundy has an opening day start to his credit, a couple of years ago for the Baltimore Orioles. Bundy is a workhorse who has started at least twenty-eight games in the past three years.

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Getting out of Baltimore, and getting some run support should help hum earn more wins than in years past. Bundy is off to a great start this spring as well, allowing only one hit and striking out eleven in the seven and a third innings he has pitched.

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I cannot defend the decision of Andrew Heaney pulling the start just because he has a longer service record with the LA Angels. If he was a grizzled vet who had started several previous openers, sure. He’s played five seasons with the team and won twenty games. Maddon made the wrong decision here, though what should we expect from a guy who calls runs, points.