What happened to Angels’ pitcher Parker Bridwell?

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Manager Mike Scioscia
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Manager Mike Scioscia /

In a year when they needed him the most, LA Angels’ pitcher Parker Bridwell has nearly disappeared.

After having a successful 2017 season, in which he pitched 121 innings to a 3.64 ERA, Angels’ pitcher Parker Bridwell is nowhere to be found as pitching injuries continue to amount.

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Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB draft, the Angels acquired Bridwell from the O’s in exchange for cash considerations or a PTBNL. While the move at the time wasn’t flashy, Angels’ general manager Billy Eppler saw enough in Bridwell to make the trade.

The move definitely paid off for Eppler and the Angels.

Bridwell started 20 games in 2017, earning a winning record of 10-3 and proving to be a reliable option in the starting rotation.

What made Bridwell successful was his use of his off speed pitches and secondary stuff. Because his fastball sits in the low 90s, he never overpowered guys with fastballs. In fact, in Bridwell’s 121 innings pitched, He averaged just 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings. But, because of his use of sliders and sinkers, Bridwell pitched more for contact and ground balls which proved to work for Bridwell and granted him some success.

Building off a successful 2017 season, Bridwell looked to be in the fold for the starting rotation, or at least provide the Angels with some pitching insurance, come 2018.

Unfortunately, 2018 hasn’t been kind to Bridwell. In his one appearance this year for the Angels, Bridwell didn’t last two innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. Bridwell also allowed three home runs and spiked his ERA to 32.40. Bridwell was then demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake on April 7.

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Since his demotion, Bridwell continued to struggle. In just 28 innings pitched this year at AAA, his ERA is 8.68. However, some of Bridwell’s struggles may have been contributed from an apparent elbow injury that he’s been dealing with, which has caused Bridwell to go on the disabled list multiple times this year.

The Angels have suffered numerous injuries to their starting rotation. Bridwell proved to be a star last season and would have certainly helped if not for his early struggles with performance and staying healthy. Nonetheless, hopefully Bridwell can return to his 2017 form in which the Angels went 17-3 in his 20 starts.