Angels bolster bullpen by adding familiar face on one-year deal

The Angels improve their bullpen by adding a former Angel.

Jun 19, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Luis Garcia (66)
Jun 19, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Luis Garcia (66) / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The bullpen was once again a weakness for the Los Angeles Angels in 2023. There were some bright spots like the performances of Carlos Estevez (in the first half) and Matt Moore (before he was waived). The Angels even got solid results when they promoted young arms like Jose Soriano, Ben Joyce, and Sam Bachman to the majors. Despite the positives, it was still subpar.

Headed into this offseason, the bullpen was very clearly an area Perry Minasian was going to have to address if the Angels were going to compete in 2024. They added to the bullpen already by signing Adam Kolarek earlier this offseason, and have now made another addition, bringing a former Angel back to Anaheim on a one-year deal.

LA Angels continue to improve the bullpen, sign Luis Garcia to one-year deal

Garcia spent the 2019 season with the Angels and posted a 4.35 ERA in 64 appearances. Garcia allowed a ton of base runners, mainly via the walk, but pitched decently well for the Angels for most of the year.

The right-hander made stops in Texas and St. Louis in the 2020 and 2021 seasons respectively before signing a two-year deal with the Padres ahead of the 2022 season. Garcia would pitch well for San Diego in 2022, but took a bit of a step back this past season, along with most of his teammates.

While his season was a bit subpar, it's easy to see why Minasian was intrigued by this addition. The 36-year-old posted a 4.07 ERA in 61 appearances and 59.2 innings pitched. He did see his walk rate increase and strikeout rate decrease from the previous season, but Garcia did two things well. Keep the ball on the ground, and avoid hard contact.

Garcia ranked in the 98th percentile in ground ball rate and in the 90th percentile in barrel rate according to baseball savant. With Ron Washington inserted as the team's new manager, the Angels should be much improved defensively, particularly in their infield. With that in mind, having a groundball pitcher like Garcia could wind up being a good thing.

While Garcia could very well have a good year for the Angels, he should not be the best reliever they sign. The Angels did need multiple relievers and he's a solid middle relief addition, but they could use a late-game arm to help close games, especially after how subpar Estevez's second half was.

manual