As Major League Baseball advises teams against group workouts, the mechanics of roster maneuvers still need to happen. The Los Angeles Angels announced five moves on Sunday.
Barria pitched the most innings over the shortened spring for the Angels. He got off to a great start before a rough outing jumped his ERA north of four runs. Barria is looking to recover from a dreadful 2009 season when he went 4-10 with a look-the-other-way 6.42 ERA. Injuries to Shohei Ohtani (recovering from Tommy John surgery) and Griffin Canning opened the door for the possibility of Barria to crack the rotation. However, several other starters have been impressive in making their case in the spring, including Matt Andriese, who might have the inside track at the final rotation slot.
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It’s no surprise to see Anthony Bemboom optioned. You can say it’s a bit of a birthday nod to Max Stassi, who turned 28 today. Kidding aside, Stassi is clearly the best back-up option to starter Jason Castro, and Stassi is out of options, while Bemboom will still have one option remaining after exercising his second this season.
Kyle Keller was acquired from the Marlins in January for Jose Estrada. The 26-year-old has battled control issues in the majors. He excites scouts with his fastball, curveball combination that has proven unhittable at times. He struck out over twelve batters per nine innings in AAA last season. Keller surrendered four runs in four innings of work during Cactus League action this month.
José Quijada is another reliever the Halos picked up from the Marlins over the winter. He also projects as a pitcher who can strike people out like crazy, but can’t keep the ball over the plate consistently. In 34 relief appearances last season for Miami, the 24-year-old walked 26 batters while striking out 44.
Finally, Taylor Cole, who Angels fans know well enough by now. By sending him to the minors, the Angels will eventually exercise his final minor league option. Over 32 relief appearances and 6 starts last season, Cole pitched to a 5.92 ERA, but his underlying statistics suggest better results. Opposing hitters had an absurd .366 batting average on balls in play against the right-hander. Perhaps with a little better luck, Cole can find his way back to the majors.
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