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Monday, March 09, 2020

Angels tab Heaney for first Opening Day start

PHOENIX—As the longest tenured member of the Angels’ rotation, left-hander Andrew Heaney will be rewarded with his first career Opening Day start, manager Joe Maddon announced on Sunday. The Angels open against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on March 26.

Heaney, 28, has been with the Angels since 2015, but he has never had the honor of starting the regular-season opener, as he hasn’t been healthy to start a regular season since ‘16. Heaney only made one start that season before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

“I’ve worked really hard to put myself in that position and it’s pretty cool,” Heaney said. “As a starting pitcher, your goal is to not only make the team, but to take the ball Opening Day.”

Heaney was a candidate to be the club’s Opening Day starter in 2019, but he opened the season on the injured list with left elbow irritation, and he didn’t make his first start until May 26. Heaney made 18 starts in ‘19, posting a 4.91 ERA with 118 strikeouts, 30 walks and 20 homers allowed in 95 1/3 innings, while also missing time with left shoulder irritation. So for Heaney, it means a lot to be healthy this season.



QLE Posted: March 09, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andrew heaney, opening day

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   1. bbmck Posted: March 09, 2020 at 09:25 PM (#5929127)
Played in 2015 or earlier and 2019, still on the same franchise since 2015, 50%+ starts and/or 50+ starts:

ARI - Robbie Ray
ATL - Mike Foltynewicz, (Julio Teheran an Angel)
BAL - (Dylan Bundy an Angel)
BOS - Eduardo Rodriguez, (Steven Wright free agent), (Rick Porcello a Met)
CHC - Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks

CHW - Carlos Rodon
CIN - Anthony DeSclafani
CLE - Carlos Carrasco, (Corey Kluber a Ranger), (Cody Anderson and Danny Salazar free agents)
COL - Jon Gray, (Chad Bettis a Yankee)
DET - none

HOU - (Collin McHugh a Red Sox)
KCR - Danny Duffy
LAA - Andrew Heaney, (Nick Tropeano a Yankee), (Tyler Skaggs deceased)
LAD - Clayton Kershaw, (Hyun-Jin Ryu a Blue Jay)
MIA - Adam Conley, Jose Urena

MIL - (Jimmy Nelson a Dodger), (Zach Davies a Padre)
MIN - (Kyle Gibson a Ranger)
NYM - Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, (Zack Wheeler a Phillie)
NYY - Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, (CC Sabathia retired)
OAK - Chris Bassitt

PHI - Aaron Nola, (Jerad Eickhoff a Padre)
PIT - none
SDP - none
SEA - (Felix Hernandez a Brave)
SFG - (Madison Bumgarner a D'Back)

STL - Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas, (Michael Wacha a Met)
TBR - none
TEX - none
TOR - none
WSN - Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Joe Ross

27 starting pitchers with that much seniority on 18 teams.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: March 09, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5929133)
Miles Mikolas
That's not right.
   3. bbmck Posted: March 09, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5929135)
Oops, JPCL for Miles and 2 years with Cards.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2020 at 01:42 AM (#5929152)
Joe Ross

And in that time, Ross has averaged fewer than 70 IP per season despite starting 70% of his appearances. FWIW, Matthew Boyd has been on the Tigers 2015-19 but he did begin 2015 with Tor.

The sparseness surprises me. Just looking at 2015, there were 60 pitchers who debuted and made at least one start (so not including anybody who might become a starter but pitched only relief in their debut year). Only 35 of those pitched in MLB (for anybody) in 2019. Only 15 of them made even 10 starts in 2019, only 7 made it to 25 (Nola, ERod, Boyd, Noah, Davies, Matz, Gray). Over those 5 "seasons", 17 of 60 made it over 3 WAR, only Nola, Noah, ERod, Severino and Gray have made it to 10 WAR and things aren't looking very good for Severino. Only 13 have made it to 500 IP. Nola leads the way with 770 IP so still only about 700 over 2016-19 -- as the most durable. If only 10-15 starters who will even make it to 500 innings over 5 seasons debut each year, where are all the starters coming from?

FWIW, the top 8 and 13 of the top 15 in that list of 60 debuts by WAR have only pitched for their original MLB team and many of the rest of the top 20-25 were involved in fairly big trades. Also there's a pitcher named Chi Chi Gonzalez that I've never heard of but has played in parts of 3 seasons, including 2019. And he may be the palest Chi Chi ever.

Anyway, I'm not surprised that a lot of pitchers leave their original team once they reach FA (or the end of their arb/FA buyout) -- i.e. the number of guys in parentheses is not surprising to me -- I just figured there'd be more young names in that list in #1 given how desperate teams are to develop their own pitchers.

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