Ahh, a little more information from a different LA paper.
Starting rotation set: As anticipated, the Angels will open the season with Colon, followed by Jarrod Washburn, John Lackey, Paul Byrd and Escobar, who folds in fifth because of a tight shoulder.
and a great article on Escobar too.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Angels raised eyebrows in November 2003 when they gave Kelvim Escobar, then an unproven starting pitching commodity, a three-year, $18.75 million contract. After one solid season and one wild winter of spending, the paradigm has shifted. Suddenly, Escobar looks like a bargain.
"You look at guys like Jaret Wright and Matt Clement and think, 'Wow!' But that's the way it is. That stuff happens," Escobar said. "I'm very happy. And I'm happy for those guys."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Sunday that Bartolo Colon would be the Angels' Opening Day starter, a title fitting his average annual salary of $12.7 million. But Escobar threw the ball better than any Angels starter most of last season, and his statistics stack up roughly equal to or better than those who got rich this past winter.
Boston's Clement and Eric Milton (Cincinnati) each signed three-year, $25 million deals. Kris Benson got three years and $22 million from the Mets, and Wright (three years, $21 million) and Carl Pavano (four years, $40 million) cashed in with the Yankees.
Escobar pitched 208 innings, posted a 3.93 ERA and held opposing batters to a .244 average.
Poor run support limited him to an 11-12 record, but his 193 strikeouts trailed only Cy Young winner Johan Santana, Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez in the American League.
Clement had a better ERA (3.68) and opponent batting average (.229), but threw just 181 innings. Benson had a 4.31 ERA. Wright pitched just 186 innings. And Pavano struck out just 139.
But Escobar isn't complaining. He's still grateful the Angels had faith to make him a starter.
"They signed me for three years when no one believed I could be a consistent starter," he said. "They gave me the chance and I proved it to them."
If he improves his focus and relies more on his fastball, the Angels could have a steal.
"We feel we have a guy who could be one of the top pitchers in the league, based on talent and durability," pitching coach Bud Black said. "His secondary pitches are outstanding."