LA Angels newly acquired right-hander Ricky Nolasco will take the mound for the first time in an Angel uniform Thursday afternoon against Oakland. Nolasco will attempt to help the Angels get a three-game sweep over their NORCAL rivals and start his Angels career off on a good foot.
When the LA Angels traded away left-hander Hector Santiago to the Minnesota Twins on Monday afternoon the talk was mostly about Twins prospect Alex Meyer who was rated 18th overall in the organization with a high upside. What was forgotten was the Angels got a current major leaguer, Ricky Nolasco, in the deal with the Twins as well.
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Nolasco has had a forgettable stint with the Twins since signing a four-year 48 million dollar deal with them in the winter of 2014. Nolasco has gone 15-22 with an ERA of 5.44 in 2.5 seasons in Minnesota. So far this season Nolasco is 4-8 with a 5.13 ERA in 21 games pitched. Overall for his career Nolasco is 104-97 with a 4.54 ERA in 11 seasons with the Marlins, Dodgers, and Twins.
Nolasco is a California native being born in 1982 in Corona. He attended Rialto High School before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Nolasco made his MLB debut in 2006 with the Florida Marlins going 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA. His best season in the majors was 2008 when Nolasco went 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA for the Marlins with 186 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.102. His win total, ERA, and WHIP were are all career bests for Nolasco.
Nolasco joins an Angels staff desperate for reliable starting pitching and hopes to revive his career in Anaheim. Former Angel fan-favorite Hector Santiago will also make his debut with his new team Thursday at 12:10 as the Twins will face the first place Cleveland Indians going for a four-game sweep of the Tribe. Santiago has won his last six starts all in July going 6-0 in the month and is 10-4 overall with a 4.25 ERA while pitching for the Angels this season.
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Nolasco is 1-4 with a 5.58 ERA in his last seven starts with his last win coming on July 9th at Texas when he went six innings allowing three earned runs on nine hits (Nolasco had two bad outings where he gave up 13 runs in a total of 7.2 innings, otherwise his ERA would be 3.31 in the other five outings). Overall Nolasco has pitched very well in four of his last five starts pitching six innings or more in four of them. Nolasco’s last start came on July 29th as he shut down the Chicago White Sox going eight innings giving up only three hits and one run while striking out six in a no-decision.
Here’s hoping Nolasco keeps his recent upswing for the Angels for the rest of the season.