When the LA Angels designated Parker Bridwell for assignment at the end of the 2018 season many Angel fans were sad to see him go. Bridwell had a great rookie year in 2017, but 2018 was an injury-plagued season for the right-hander. But life is about second chances.
Parker Bridwell was one of the few feel good stories the LA Angels had in 2017 as the then 25-year old Bridwell was claimed off of waivers in April and subsequently a trad was worked out between the Angels and Bridwell’s former team the Baltimore Orioles. Bridwell was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake for a month, and then was brought up to do a couple of spot starts in May and June and performed admirably.
In early July of 2017 Bridwell was called up for good and finished the season with a 10-3 record with a 3.64 ERA and he filled a void left by some of the Angels injured starters such as Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards.
Bridwell went to Spring Training in 2018 hoping to earn a spot in the Angels rotation, but things did not go very as he compiled a 0-3 record with an ERA of 6.85 in seven appearances and a WHIP of 1.75. Needless to say Bridwell did not gain that rotation spot.
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Bridwell was callled up to make another spot start after Matt Shoemaker was again placed on the disabled list after just making one start in early April. Bridwell made his first start of the season and he did not fare well as he only lasted 1.2 innings giving up six runs on seven hits, three of which were home runs and he was again sent down to Triple-A. Bridwell was placed on the 7-Day DL by the Bees two weeks later and thus began that injury journey for Bridwell.
Halo Hangout caught up with Bridwell near the end of the 2018 season and asked him about his rough 2018 debut.
“It was really tough early in the year because I was totally healthy. I tried to pitch through it, but I had some really tough outings,” Bridwell said. “It’s just one of those things that you have to take a step back realize what was going on previously in the year. With the unsuccessful outings that I had, I just to keep my foot on the gas and keep pushing through.”
Bridwell made six starts in Triple-A from April 11th until June 5th before being shut down for three months.
When I asked Bridwell how he felt about being able to get back on the mound in September after being on the DL for most of the season he said.
“I’m 100 percent healthy now. It’s just one of those things. I’m healthier than I thought I ever would be again,” Bridwell said. “I didn’t know what healthy felt like for a lit bit. It’s awesome to get back on the mound and let it loose without any swelling or pain. I’m just glad to have a healthy elbow again.”
The Angels wanted to keep Bridwell, but a few moves necessitating the Angels open up a few roster spots forced the team to put Bridwell on waivers on November 20th and Bridwell was claimed by the New York Yankees five days later. However on Monday the Yankees put Bridwell back on waivers and Friday morning the Angels claimed the now 27-year old Bridwell.
Where he will fall in the mix for the 2019 season is anyone’s guess, but with Bridwell being totally healthy by his own accounts we could see him return to form in 2019.
“It’s going to be the same as this year (2019 Spring Training), I’m going to go in and do my best and compete for a job,” Bridwell said. ” I can only control what I do, so we will just have to see where it goes.”
Bridwell has one big thing going for him which is the support of the Angel fans which he says has meant a lot to him especially when he was going through the roller coaster ride during the 2018 season.
“It’s awesome. It’s always good to have that support behind you that I have gotten here,” said Bridwell with a smile. “I’m from a small town in Texas. They could have very easily turned their back on me and give up on me. I’ve felt nothing but support from the whole fan base. It’s very humbling to have that many people behind you and rooting you on. I can’t thank them enough for it.”
Welcome Back Parker Bridwell! We hope to see you on the mound in Anaheim again in 2019.