On June 27th, the LA Angels faced off against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, and while the final score of that game isn’t remembered, what happened to Jake Jewell is.
The LA Angels had called up Jewell earlier that way for some bullpen depth, and on a routine passed ball, Jewell raced towards home plate to cover for the incoming runner.
We all remember what happened next, as Jewell suffered one of the most devastating injuries ever on a baseball field. He would get season-ending surgery the next day to repair his fractured right fibula.
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However, that’s the past. Jewell has fully recovered and he isn’t planning to be just a feel good story. He’s planning to dominate in the bullpen this year at the major league level, and he’s well on his way.
The phrase “numbers don’t lie” doesn’t account for Spring Training stats, as they can often be misleading. However, Jewell has gone out every day and competed hard. In eight outings (8.1 innings pitched), Jewell owns a 2.16 ERA and has struck out eight batters while walking none. These numbers are very impressive considering Jewell’s astronomical ERA in limited time last season.
Whether these numbers translate into the regular season or not, Jewell seems to have sprinted through any mental block that may deter some players after suffering this sort of injury.
After Garrett Richards tore his patella tendon covering first base, a lot of people pondered if Richards would be able to perform the routine play again, or if there would be a mental block. There will be a time where Jewell has to cover home again, unless he plans on never having another wild pitch.
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So far, Jewell has shown his comeback is well under way. He has put himself directly into the conversation when it comes to the Opening Day bullpen. Whether he starts the season in Anaheim or Salt Lake, Halo fans can be sure of one thing. Jake Jewell’s comeback has just begun, and he’s on his way back to The Big A and being a key cog in the Angels’ bullpen for years to come.