While summer camp opens for Major League Baseball on Wednesday, Angels’ pitcher Dillon Peters is still nursing an injury from the first spring training.
July 1st is an important day for the Los Angeles Angels, as Major League Baseball teams officially begin reporting to spring training 2.0 – now being termed “summer camp” – and the 2020 MLB season gets a restart. That begins with players checking in and getting tested for Coronavirus. Workouts are then set to commence on Friday with Opening Day a mere three weeks later on July 23rd for some teams.
While many Angels players have used the mid-March shutdown period to get healthy and get themselves ready to go for 2020, one player won’t be able to fully participate in camp at the outset.
In speaking with the media on Tuesday, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Angels’ general manager Billy Eppler went over a slew of topics. When the conversation turned to health, Eppler was encouraged to note that most of the team’s pitching staff would be healthy and ready when workouts begin. However, left-hander Dillon Peters would likely be limited to start camp.
Peters originally suffered an oblique strain during the first rendition of spring training, as well as a sprained ankle that cost him his final start in the March camp. While he has made some strides in his recovery, the Angels are being cautious and do not expect him to be up to full speed until mid-July per Eppler.
With Shohei Ohtani only expected to pitch one day per week in his first season back on the mound following Tommy John surgery, the Angels are expected to start the season with a six-man rotation. Peters, who made 12 starts for the team in 2019, was expected to compete for one of those spots.
The Angels acquired the left-handed Peters from the Miami Marlins via a minor trade in November 2018. Injuries forced the Angels to carry Peters on the staff to start the season and he would make 17 appearances (12 starts) for the club, going 4-4 with a 5.38 ERA, a 6.23 FIP, and a 6.9 K/9. Home runs were a huge problem for Peters in 2019, as he surrendered 18 in 72 innings of work at the major league level, good for a 19.6% HR/FB ratio. The problems with the long ball continued at Salt Lake City, where Peters gave up another 11 home runs in 57 innings of work.
In terms of splits, Dillon Peters was much more effective as a reliever last season. While he contributed a 5.82 ERA, a 1.617 WHIP, and a 6.8 K/9 in 55.2 innings as a starter, Peters went for a 3.86 ERA, a 1.286 WHIP, and 7.2 K/9 in 16.1 innings out of the bullpen.
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A return to the bullpen will be likely for Peters in 2020, as even before the injuries, he stood an outside chance of capturing the final spot on the starting staff. Still, nothing can be fully counted out for an Angels team that has seen the need arise on a yearly basis.