The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Los Angeles Angels roster and schedule:
ANGELS ROSTER (projected)
When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.
In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Angels roster to begin the season, give or take:
After yet another disappointing season the Angels made some big moves this past winter. They fired Brad Ausmus and hired Joe Maddon. They gave Mike Trout a second banana who can take some of the load off, via a $245 million investment in third baseman Anthony Rendon. They acquired starter Dylan Bundy from the Orioles and signed starter Julio Teherán, cutting bait on guys like Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. They, thanks to the delayed start of the season, are basically assured of Shoehei Ohtani beginning the campaign as a two-way player. Top prospect Jo Adell will likely not break camp with the team but he could see some playing time in 2020. His future is bright. Him aside, if Trout, Rendon, and Ohtani play up to their usual offensive standards and Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton can rebound from poor years, the offense — which was below average in 2019 — will be more than credible.
The real problem last year was the pitching, which was downright atrocious. Adding Bundy, Teherán and Matt Andriese, — who has been a reliever for the past two years but who will be a part of a large Angels rotation this year — can’t hurt, but nor can they be seen as true needle-movers. Ohtani coming back to full power would be a major boon, but it remains to be seen how much he can be used and how effective a pitcher he can be. He’ll be used only once a week on the mound. He’s had three appearances in Summer Camp action, the first two of which were not great before a pretty good one the other day. It’s hard to say what Joe Maddon will get from him.
The bullpen wasn’t too bad last year but it was overused and burnt out by the end of the year. If the new-look rotation can give them a break they could be a team strength. As it is, though, Maddon has said he’ll break camp with as many as 17 pitchers and keeping them until the rosters are cut down in a couple of weeks. Gotta hedge those bets.
The Angels, as always in the Mike Trout era, look pretty credible on offense and have a lot of stars on the roster. This year, if they can get some pitching, they’ll, at the very least, not be a disappointment, even if they don’t really stack up with Houston and Oakland. Success will be pushing harder for second place than a lot of people expected and remaining in the Wild Card conversation deep into September.
Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.
Angels home stands will be July 28-August 2 (Mariners, Astros), August 10-18 (Athletics, Dodgers, Giants), August 28-September 6 (Mariners, Padres, Astros), and September 15-21 (Diamondbacks, Rangers).