Danny Espinosa

Jesse Chavez is grateful for chance to crack Angels rotation alongside longtime friend Ricky Nolasco

Jesse Chavez is grateful for chance to crack Angels rotation alongside longtime friend Ricky Nolasco

Angels right-handers Jesse Chavez and Ricky Nolasco grew up in neighboring Inland Empire towns and competed against each other in high school, including a memorable matchup as seniors when each threw 10 shutout innings. The Chicago Cubs drafted them both in 2001. 

It took Nolasco, now 34 and half a lifetime removed from Rialto High, fewer than five years to establish himself in a major league rotation. Chavez, 33, is still trying.

The Angels’ off-season addition didn’t reach the majors until 2008, and didn’t get his first big league start until 2012. By then, he’d been traded four times, and his delivery had been tinkered...

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