Los Angeles Angels starter J.C Ramirez has gone down for the season with a UCL tear in his elbow, requiring season ending Tommy John surgery.
Before the season began, the health of the starting rotation was a huge question mark for the Los Angeles Angels . That question has answered itself with a plethora of injuries to the Angels starting rotation. To counter this, top prospect Jaime Barria will search for both team success and personal success in his first Major League start.
Many of us could have predicted the LA Angels starting staff would filter out this way, maybe not this early on, but it was expected nonetheless. Within the first month of the season the Angels have lost three starters to injury; Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney, and J.C Ramirez.
Shoemaker’s injury doesn’t look like something that keep him on the DL for more than ten days, retroactive to April 1st, and Andrew Heaney is already preparing his return. However, the strain is already starting to hit the team with multiple prospects being called up and sent down to fill the gaps.
The next prospect in line for a shot at the Majors is international prospect and 2013 draftee from Panama, Jaime Barria. We’ve previewed Jaime Barria multiple times at Halo Hangout, even going so far as to guarantee his premiere in 2018 due to a likely string of injuries. Now that he’s here what can we expect out of him against division rivals, the Texas Rangers?
Jaime Barria is a swing and miss type pitcher; his skillset dominate in peppering the strike-zone in all locations and keeping the opposing hitter uncomfortable. His 2017 ratio of 117 Ks’/31 BB in the minors displays his ability to consistently miss bats, and though he was rumored to be heading towards a relief role his ability to mix in ground balls with missed bats offers great opportunities for success.
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His ability to force ground balls will be critical during his debut against the Texas Rangers. This is a team that can make pitchers pay for the tiniest mistakes in the worst ways. Fortunately Barria is able to control his ground ball work, in 141 IP though the minors in 2017 Barria held opponents to a .227 BA. When batters put the ball in play against Barria (BAbip), Barria holds a BAbip of .262; a rate which offers the opportunity for success in his Major League debut this coming Wednesday (4/11/18).
A lot of his success against hitters regarding the ground ball comes from his aggressively down-planing fastball. Barria has a strong mechanical delivery that add’s emphasis to his fastball; his ability to keep is sloping at the knees is a major factor in both his ground ball ability and strikeout ability. Again, success against the Rangers will come with his ability to keep hitters off-balance with his great strike zone control while feeding them a healthy diet of low-set fastballs and brutal change-up.
Jaime Barria will take the mound against Matt Moore in the final game versus the Texas Rangers. In 2017, Jaime Barria held an ERA of 2.80 in 141.2 IP. Matt Moore has struggled in two starts this season, pitching only 7.1 innings while allowing 12 hits and a home run to an 11.05 ERA.
The Angels currently lead the three game series 2-0 after a series opener victory on the back of the Angels bullpen and offense in the opener, along with an all-around dominant victory in game two.