Jose Suarez and Jaime Barria are both trending upwards in 2021.
While Detmers and Rodriguez are almost guaranteed spots in the rotation next year, these two are on more tenuous footing and can go either way.
Suarez was originally signed as a 17-year-old out of Venezuela and had a meteoric rise through the system. There was a lot of hope for him when he made his major league debut in 2019, but sadly things haven’t gone as planned for him.
In his first two years in the majors, Suarez was hammered to the tune of a 7.99 ERA in 21 appearances (17 starts). Scattershot aim led to a propensity for giving up a lot of walks and home runs.
Thankfully, things are getting much better for the southpaw.
Since being called up mid-May, he’s been LA’s best reliever. With a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings stretched over eight outings (as of June 28th, 2021), he’s taken over nicely as the team’s new long reliever. If he continues to improve like this, he might just get another chance in the rotation next year.
In a similar vein, Barria is also looking better after an uneven start to his career. The Panamanian was signed as a 16-year-old back in 2013 and had a similarly quick rise through the minors.
Unlike Suarez, however, Barria was amazing in his first year, putting up a 3.41 ERA in 26 starts.
Unfortunately, he followed this up with a 6.42 ERA in 2019. A bounce-back performance in 2020 (3.62 ERA) was a nice refresher and, after a rough start to 2021, is heading in the right direction.
After allowing seven runs over two innings in his first relief appearance, he’s been up and down to Triple-A for the rest of the season. He’s performing well enough in Salt Lake, though he’s yet to eclipse six innings in a start this year.
It was his outing against the Cleveland Indians on May 18, however, that gives the most hope for his future.
Tossing four shutout innings in relief against a potential playoff team is possibly a good indicator of future success for Barria. Whether that’s as part of the rotation or bullpen remains to be seen.
Regardless, however things may shake out in the coming months, there’s a lot of hope for the future of the Angels’ starting rotation. If even just two of these young guys steps up in a big way, LA might be in for one of its best rotations in years.