With the LA Angels expecting position players to roll in over the weekend, it was just another day in Tempe as they are in the thick of Spring Training. However, there were a couple of developments worth noting.
LA Angels Sign Luke Bard
The Angels signed relief pitcher Luke Bard to a minor league deal on Saturday, per reports. Bard was selected by the Halos in the Rule 5 Draft in 2018, but after a stretch where he posted a 5.40 ERA for the Halos, he was returned to the Minnesota Twins, where he spent the remainder of the year in Triple-A.
Bard ranks amongst the top of the league in the spin rate category, and if not for one horrid outing last year, has all-around solid numbers in his MLB experience. The Angels made a strong move taking another chance on Bard, and you can read more about the potentially great signing here.
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- Both Gold Glove finalists for LA Angels getting snubbed is a complete joke
- Marcus Stroman definitely appears to be interested in the LA Angels
New Arm Dan Jennings Arrives
Boy, did the new guy in town arrive in style. Dan Jennings, who signed with the Angels yesterday (more on that here), showed up for workouts in tennis shoes. He said he did not have enough time to acquire red cleats, considering he wanted to be in Spring Training with his new team ASAP.
Jennings was also another Angels signing to comment on the state of free agency, saying “It was a mentally exhausting process”. Considering Jennings has always been a reliable arm out of the bullpen, it seemed he would be signed earlier than February. However, after a winter shoveling snow and pitching against high school batters, Jennings found a home in Anaheim.
Jake Jewell Rebounding from Gruesome Injury
After an injury that left many fans worrying about his ability to walk in the near future (link here, viewer discretion advised), Jake Jewell confirmed today that he is well on his way to a full recovery. He has thrown four bullpens thus far after needing emergency surgery to repair a fractured right fibula, and could be a factor this season for the Halos.
New Technology Helping Halos
Maria Torres of the LA Times highlighted one of the biggest addition to the Angels this Spring Training, advanced technology amongst the camp. After a large portion of the league added these systems last season, Brad Ausmus made the move to incorporate it into camp this Spring Training.
One factor of Ausmus’ hire was that the Angels would introduce for analytics into their philosophy, and this is the first of many additions (and improvements) Halo fans can expect during Ausmus and Eppler’s tenure with the Angels.
More News and Notes from Day Five:
- The Angels officially announced their entire minor league coaching staff, which saw a number of news names. You can find the full list here.
- The Angels made a heartwarming tribute to Luis Valbuena, who died in a car crash over the winter in Venezuela, along with his teammate Jose Castillo. The team hung Valbuena’s jersey next to Nick Adenhart’s old one. Adenhart was a victim of a drunk driving accident in 2009.
- Position players officially report tomorrow, so expect there to be a steady stream of news as Mike Trout and Co. roll into town.