#4 LA Angels pitcher who will contribute in 2022: Ty Buttrey
Hey, remember when Ty Buttrey looked like the future ace of the LA Angels bullpen?
When Buttrey finally broke through to the majors in 2018 after seven years in the minors, he was absolutely electric. Though it was only in 16.1 innings, he put up a 3.31 ERA and 1.63 FIP and struck out 20 batters.
Then came 2019, when he pitched almost five times as many innings and regressed to a still good but no longer elite 3.98 ERA and 3.49 FIP. He then followed this up with an abysmal 2020 when he produced a 5.81 ERA and 4.94 FIP. Sighting a loss of love for the game, he retired a few months later.
Now that he's back from his brief retirement, however, there's hope that with his head in the right place, he might be able to at least recapture some of that spark.
When he was at his best in 2018, Buttrey's peripherals were amazing, namely his filthy strikeout stuff (11.0 K/9, 55.9% Whiff rate on his slider).
Even in his next two seasons there was still a lot to like, with the spin rate, vertical drop and horizontal break on his fastball, changeup and slider all remaining steady and even improving in some cases. His fastball in particular generated 92% more break than the average pitcher's in 2020 and still reached speeds in the high-90s. It's just that for whatever reason batters were suddenly able to crush everything he threw at them.
As of right now, the only remaining road block for Buttrey is that he's still on the restricted list, meaning he won't be able to pitch in any official games for the Angels unless they remove someone from the 40-man roster to make space for him.
For what it's worth, ZiPS sees Buttrey having a solid bounce-back season this year, with a 3.76 ERA over roughly 70 innings. If Buttrey proves he can come anywhere near this level of production in practice, he should find himself back on the roster, just don't expect that to happen anytime soon.