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Angels add pitching reinforcements, Jaime Barria recalled

Jaime Barria, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Jaime Barria, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Angels have added another arm to their beaten up pitching staff, recalling right-hander Jaime Barria.

After another high-scoring game where the Angels bullpen was beaten up again, the team has opted to send out for reinforcements. The next arm thrown into the fire will be Jaime Barria.

The Halos officially recalled Barria from their alternate training site on Tuesday, per a release from the team’s PR department. In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned outfielder Taylor Ward to Long Beach.

Barria is hardly a stranger in Anaheim, having spent each of the past two seasons with the big club, primarily as a starter. That was a role he was up for again in 2020, but he was beaten out for the last spot in the rotation by Patrick Sandoval at the close of summer camp.

The right-hander burst onto the scene at a 21-year-old rookie in 2018. Over the course of 26 starts, he went 10-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 6.8 K/9 ratio. However, a 4.58 FIP and a xFIP of 4.99 indicated a potential regression. That proved to be correct, as he struggled in 2020 to tune of 4-10 with a 6.42 ERA and 2.61 HR/9.

It remains to be seen what role he’ll fill with the Angels during this call-up, but he’ll likely head to the bullpen with the Halos using heavily using their relievers over the last four games.

Update: Per Joe Maddon, Barria will be in the bullpen and operate as a long-man due to Matt Andriese throwing  extensively on Sunday. (h/t Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic)

Angels option Taylor Ward to alternative training site

In order to make room for Barria on the active roster, the Angels were forced to option outfielder Taylor Ward back to Long Beach.

2020 is the third-straight season that Ward has been a part of the Angels roster, but his role has been greatly reduced this season. The call-up of Jo Adell relegated Ward to the part of fifth outfielder, but he had been further limited with the need to also get Brian Goodwin and Justin Upton consistent at-bats.

In parts of three seasons, Ward is a career .175/.250/.313 hitter with seven home runs and 18 RBI. He had tallied just 37 plate appearances in 2020, accounting for five hits, five runs, and one RBI.

More roster moves on the way for the Angels?

The Angels should be far from done with roster moves. The team is also expected to activate Andrelton Simmons for the injured list and will need to make another move to accommodate his return. It’s entirely likely that Barria’s recall could be a short-lived reprieve for the bullpen, but there is also the possibility that the Angels could option Luis Rengifo as well.

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With that said, the return of Simmons is still somewhat of a mystery. He was rumored to be considered for this past weekend’s series against the Dodgers, but that has come and past and there is no indication that he is ready to go. We’ll likely learn more as the week progresses.

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