Eric Karros thinks pitching will be key if the Angels are to surpass the Astros

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Eric Karros joins Chris Myers to discuss whether the Los Angeles Angels might be able to catch up to the Houston Astros.

- So what do the Angels have to do to keep pace to stay with Houston all year?

- It's a tough task. If I'm looking at that ball club right now, the bullpen needs to be shored up. Middleton has been their guy. Right? He's six out of seven closing out games. But he's going to be out for a while. UCL damage right elbow, which for a pitcher, right, that's deadly.

So then, you know, you go to the rest of the A's. Where is that stopper? And they just don't really have one. You know, you look at the rotation. You know, you've got Ohtani and Richards. And then, as you mentioned, you've got Heaney out there. They are going to compete. They'll compete all year long. I think they're built more for a 162 game season than they are for the postseason.

Do they stick with Houston? I just-- I do believe they need to go out and get somebody is shore up that bullpen.

CHRIS MYERS: Yeah. And the bullpen. What? They've won eight of their last 12. But in the losses, the four losses, the bullpen blew a save in three of those.

- Well, and you look at the innings pitched. 164 innings pitched. And so, maybe they're getting by right now. But if you're out that pace and you get to August, those guys you're going to be bringing their arms out there with them to the mound. They're going to have to drag them. Because they're not going to have anything left.

And then everybody's going to say, "Oh, man. What's wrong with these guys?" Well, you can't go and use them this often early in the season.

- Speaking of wearing down. Some people think the 23-year-old rookie sensation, Shohei Ohtani, because he pitches and hits-- even though they have a system set up for that-- that he might wear down in the later stages of the season.

- You know, looking at it, it's not the conventional, I'm a starting pitcher I throw every fifth day. He's throwing on Sundays. And when you're talking about playing, he's playing four days a week. And he's not even out in the field.

So from a wearing down aspect, I don't think that's even a talking point. In fact, it's not a talking point.

Ideally, you know, nowadays, guys want to have their players rest. They want to, you know, pick times when they're going-- I mean, he is in a great spot as far as he's going to be healthy or going to have energy the entire year. So wear down isn't an impact.

For me, again, I keep going back. How are you going to continue to hit at this level through the entire year? I just think that there's going to be an adjustment period. And what happens when you struggle? When you do struggle, you want to get out there, get reps, and play and play and play. Well, if you're only playing four days a week, sometimes that might be a bit difficult to get out and to find your groove again.

CHRIS MYERS: Well, yeah, if he's struggling at the plate, make him pitch more. Maybe that'll--

- That's--

- --get him going. But he has a great skill set. So just because--

- Yeah.

- --something hasn't been done in the modern era, he can do amazing things at age 23. And we're at the quarter mark on the season.