Do the Angels need to rely on a rookie arm to find themselves in the playoffs? As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder.
The Los Angeles Angels, needless to say, are struggling mightily on the mound so far this season. Dylan Bundy has been a bright spot and a fun story since being acquired from Baltimore in the offseason but aside from him, the arms are not very strong at all. There may be a solution to this problem and a rare exception may have to be made for a rare season. First-round pick, Reid Detmers out of Louisville may be exactly what the Angels need to sneak into a playoff spot.
There have only been a few cases in which a player will skip minor league ball altogether but truthfully, Reid probably would’ve seen The Show next year anyway. Manager, Joe Maddon didn’t rule out a Detmers sighting in 2020 this year either. In an article by Rhett Bollinger on MLB.com Maddon says about Detmers, “It’s not out of the question that he may be able to help us this year.”
Detmers has nasty breaking pitches yes, but his command is top-notch and add to that he’s a lefty. The less the catchers have to work behind the plate the more likely the ump is going to call it a strike which leads to out which means that the Angels wouldn’t waste being one of the top run producers in the majors as according to ESPN.com, they are tied tenth in that category while tied sixth in earned runs.
Detmers, a 3-year starter at the University of Louisville, had a collegiate record of 20-6 and was 3-0 in 2020 with 48 strikeouts in 4 appearances before the season was canceled. There is being noticeably better than everyone you face in college and then there is being Reid Detmers. The man faced 91 batters and struck out 48 of them this year and if that doesn’t impress you how does 284 punchies over 191 innings sound for a career?
Reid is already ranked third in the Angels farm system and with the call up of outfielder, Jo Adell he will move up the list again shortly. He’s number 87 overall in the top 100 prospects in baseball which is a joke of a ranking for a guy of his talent but none the less will move up that list extremely fast. He’s polished, nasty, and most of all he can handle the lights.
Two words, one name. Mickey Callaway. While his time in New York as manager was altered by multiple GM’s and inexcusable trades, he shined and was highly respected as the Cleveland Indians pitching coach from 2013-2017. This is the perfect person to match up with Detmers as a pup in the majors. Between Callaways expertise and Reid already having all the tools and knowing how to use them effectively, it’s a match made in heaven, and that’s why they’re the Angels.
The Angels have absolutely nothing to lose right now. Dylan Bundy is the only starter that is locked in and if your counter-argument is, “it’s still early” then you must be reminded there are only 40ish games left to make a playoff push. Joe Maddon was built for situations like this and knows how to manage in October. The Halos can put the runs on the board, but they need the other team to quit doing the same.
The Angels have needed at least 4 runs to win in all 8 of their wins. The real frustrating stat, they’ve scored under 3 runs just twice this year. These are inexcusable numbers and with a lineup as deep as theirs, they need to put productive pitching on the mound now. They have the lineup to compete with anybody but can’t keep the other team from crossing home.
I’m not calling Detmers will be the best player on this team, because he plays centerfield for them already. I am saying that Detmers is a future ace and the steal of the 2020 draft and the Angels should go ahead and prove that to everyone this year. Pair this guy’s talent with a nothing to lose season and a skipper like Joe Maddon and pitching coach like Mickey Callaway, and you’ll be watching his highlights on ESPN and MLB Network with the hosts laughing at the nine teams who passed on him and laughing even harder at the three who took another pitcher over him.