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LA Angels: Pitching prospects make spring debuts in 7-5 loss to Reds

Chris Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Chris Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Angels top pitching prospects made their highly anticipated spring debuts in a 7-5 loss (8 innings) to the Reds on Tuesday. Chris Rodriguez and Reid Detmers showed flashes of their future potential in their scoreless outings.

Rodriguez (No.6 prospect) faced two batters in the third inning, striking out both hitters on swings and misses. The right-hander showed some nasty stuff, including a 96 MPH fastball and a hard slider. This was the first time the 22-year old has pitched competitively against live hitters since 2019.

Detmers (No.2 prospect) came into the ballgame in the sixth inning, walking his first batter before retiring the next three hitters, including a strikeout to end the inning.

Some other positive takeaways were the continued offensive production from starting position players.

Top pitching prospects Chris Rodriguez and Reid Detmers showed flashes of their potential for the Angels.

Leadoff man David Fletcher got the Halos started with a hit down the right-field line to begin the game, followed by a Jon Jay hit-by-pitch. Picking up where he left off was shortstop Jose Iglesias, who continued his hot start with a three-run home run to give the Angels an early 3-0 lead.

The damage came against MLB’s No.47 prospect Hunter Greene who reached 103 MPH in his outing for the Reds.

Fletcher has reached in all four of his plate appearances, while Iglesias has 5 RBI and a 1.750 slugging percentage in their first two games.

Starting for the Angels was left-hander Andrew Heaney, who allowed one earned run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings pitched.

Outfielder Taylor Ward extended the Angels lead 5-1 with a two-run home run in the top of the third inning, driving in Juan Lagares. Ward finished the ballgame 1-for-2 with 2 RBI, while Lagares went 1-for-1 with a walk, stolen base, and run scored. The duo is competing for a reserve outfield spot.

Among the other outfielders in the mix are Jon Jay and Scott Schebler, who also started in Tuesday’s loss. Jay finished 0-for-1 with two hit-by-pitches and a run scored, while Schebler went 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout.

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Jo Adell and Jordyn Adams (No. 3 prospect) subbed in the game, going hitless and recording one strikeout each.

The Angels took a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning before non-roster invitee Brendan McCurry allowed three earned runs in 0.2 innings pitched to give the Reds a 7-5 advantage.

Jose Suarez (1.1 IP 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) and Dillon Peters (0.2 IP 2 H, 1 ER 2 K) accounted for the other Angels pitchers who allowed runs in their outings.

Through three games so far, the Angels projected position players have done the heavy lifting offensively. Lagares (2-for-3, R, RBI, SB) has stood out on offense and defense among the players on the bubble. The power from Ward, who did not have a home run last season, is also something to keep an eye on this spring.

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The pitchers fans will undoubtedly want to pay attention to will be Rodriguez and Detmers. It was a small sample size, but the Angels look to have some exciting young pitching prospects on their hands for the first time in a long time.

Next up for the Halos is a matchup against Rangers at 2:10pm on Wednesday from Tempe Diablo Stadium.

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