Los Angeles Angels hope Chris Rodriguez can be future ace

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Chris Rodriguez #73 of the Los Angeles Angels during an intraleague game at their summer workouts at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 15, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Chris Rodriguez #73 of the Los Angeles Angels during an intraleague game at their summer workouts at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 15, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Angels desperately need to find a top of the rotation starter. Their hopes are turning to prospect Chris Rodriguez.

Over the years, the Los Angeles Angels have struggled to find pitching. They have attempted to patch a rotation together with one year deals and a plethora of spare parts to no avail. Those expected top of the rotation arms, such as Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning, have battled injuries. The Angels just cannot find the arms they need.

But hope springs eternal. This time, the Angels’ reason for hope is prospect Chris Rodriguez, who they believe has the stuff and command needed to become a top of the rotation starter.

There are major concerns when it comes to Rodriguez. He missed the entire 2018 season, and all but 9.2 innings of the 2019 campaign, due to a stress reaction and surgery on his lower back. He has never pitched above high-A ball, with just those 9.2 innings of experience at that level. Theoretically, he would be years away from contributing.

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But that is not the case. The Angels added Rodriguez to their 40 man roster, and anticipate adding him to their AA team for 2021. Depending on his health and the results, it is not outside the realm of possibility that he could be a part of their rotation by the end of the upcoming season.

It is easy to see why the Angels have such high hopes for Rodriguez. He is armed with four-seam fastball that sits in the mid 90s and has been clocked as high as 97 MPH. Rodriguez also has a wipeout slider, a solid curve, and a devasting changeup with plenty of fading action. All of those offerings were on display this year, as he impressed both at the Angels alternate site and during instructional action during the fall.

All that has been missing is health. With those back issues in the past, and Rodriguez having a better feel for his body and delivery, the hope is that he will reach his potential and be the pitcher the Angels envision. If that happens, the Angels next hoped for ace could be in Los Angeles by the end of the upcoming year.

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The Los Angeles Angels have high hopes for Chris Rodriguez. He has the potential to be the ace they need, if only he can stay healthy.