Angels manager Joe Maddon told reporters that Andrew Heaney will be taking the ball on Opening Day. Maddon said that new Angels Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran were also considered, but that Heaney will be first out of the gate because of his long tenure in Los Angeles. He’ll be the first pitcher to face the scandal-wracked Houston Astros in the regular season.
An Angel since 2015, Heaney has generally been effective when he’s been on the mound. Staying on the mound, though, has been a challenge at times. Heaney topped out at 180 innings in 2018, after missing almost all of 2016 and 2017 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He also experienced elbow inflammation last year and was limited to just 95.1 innings.
The success of this year’s version of the Angels will heavily depend on the health and effectiveness of the starting rotation. Los Angeles starters as a group had a 5.64 ERA, worst in the American League and second only to the Rockies for the worst mark in all of baseball. Former top pitching prospect Griffin Canning has already been sidelined with elbow troubles.