See what I did with that headline? Yeah, I can show myself out.
Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and… Jerome Williams? Williams is playing Winter Ball and looking good so far…
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jerome Williams is making a strong case for a permanent spot in the 2012 rotation. Pitching for the Magallanes Navegantes, Williams is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA through six starts with 26 strikeouts and 12 walks while holding opponents to a .219 average.
The Angels kept Williams on their 40-man roster. Given the possible departure of free agent Joel Pineiro, Williams is poised to be on their Opening Day roster.
Williams was a pretty nice little story for the Angels in 2011. The former 1999 first round (supplemental) pick signed a minor league deal with the Halos on June 16 and pitched 73.2 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake. On August 21, Williams won his first start for the Angels pitching seven innings and allowing just one earned run.
Williams made four appearances from the bullpen but was more effective as a starter in the super-tiny sample size. In six starts, Williams threw 39.0 innings of 2.31 ERA with 26 strikeouts to 13 walks. If you ignore that his starts were against Baltimore, Seattle (twice), Oakland (twice) and Toronto, it was a decent run at the end of the season. Williams spent 2010 in Taiwan and last pitched in the Majors in 2007 for the Nationals.
I’m rooting for him. I’m also rooting for that “possible departure” of Joel Pineiro to be the “surefire departure” of Joel Pineiro.
The Angels were second in American League starters ERA and FIP (fielding independent pitching) in 2011 but you can blame most of that on Weaver and Haren. Tyler Chatwood (25 starts) and Pineiro (24) were, oh let’s be nice, less than effective. Scott Kazmir’s 1.2 innings still haunts me.
It’s probably in the best interest of all Angels fans to be rooting for Williams.