The Angels performed a complete bullpen overhaul this offseason, letting go of long-time Angels relievers Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, and Justin Anderson, in addition to losing Hansel Robles, Matt Andriese, and Jacob Barnes.
Retooled with some new and consistent faces, the Angels are still missing a piece or two to make their bullpen one they can rely on. The perfect piece to fill that gap could be Royals pitcher Scott Barlow.
Barlow’s 4.20 ERA in 2020 certainly won’t make any heads turn, but his whiff and strikeout rates, along with exponential growth since 2018, certainly will. Barlow posted a 37.6 percent Whiff and 31.2 strikeout rate in 2020, both career highs. This was all while dropping his walk rate down to 7.2 percent.
Scott Barlow is an affordable option that will round out the Angels bullpen.
Although the Angels have added steady, veteran arms, they do not have a truly dominant, electric arm in their bullpen, and Barlow is flashing every sign that he could be on the verge of becoming one of the league’s elite arms.
Two uncharacteristic outings against the Indians and the Brewers caused the inflated ERA from Barlow, but his other numbers tell more of the story of his progress as a pitcher.
As someone who hasn’t fully broken out yet, a group consisting of Jaime Barria, Franklin Barreto, and Orlando Martinez, all young, controllable pieces who have shown promise in the past, could be of enough interest to the Royals to pry Barlow away for a reasonable price.
This could turn out to be a case of underpaying for potential future performance, rather than overpaying for previous performance as so many MLB front office continuously do.
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With a promising reinforcement to solidify the bullpen, and a young electric spark plug slotting in as the ace of the rotation, the Angels would have all pieces necessary to make a run at the Angels first postseason in seven years.
Otherwise, it’s just another wasted season for the best talent on the team.