The Los Angeles Angels were dealt another big injury blow. Jose Quijada is headed to the Injured List with a sore elbow and Chris Devenski is taking his place.
Devenski was signed by the Angels this offseason to a minor league deal, and will now get his shot in the majors. The right-hander has allowed four runs in his nine innings of work thus far in AAA Salt Lake. At one point in time, Devenski was an all-star for Houston. Unfortunately, that time was back in 2017 and he hasn't really been effective at the MLB level at all since then. Hopefully he can find a role with the Angels, but my hopes aren't high.
As frustrating as Quijada was at times, he's still one of the best arms Phil Nevin has at his disposal. Now with Quijada out, that list is slimmer.
LA Angels list of trustworthy relievers is even smaller following Jose Quijada injury
Jose Quijada had two awful outings in a row before being placed on the Injured List. In those outings he allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits and two walks in just one combined inning of work. This was his output against two of the worst teams in the league in Kansas City and Oakland.
It's easy to blame poor production on injury, but I do think this elbow soreness played some sort of a role in his latest outing. Quijada was throwing in the lower 90's for this outing, and even threw a couple of fastballs clocked under 90 mph. He's averaging 94.4 mph with his fastball this season, and threw one pitch that met that average. Everything else was below.
Other than his most recent outings, Quijada had been magnificent for the Angels. Eight appearances, eight innings pitched, no runs, three hits, one walk, eight strikeouts. He was becoming Phil Nevin's most trustworthy guy before his recent struggles. I'm not saying that would've lasted, but it's clear Quijada was part of the plan late in games. Now, the Angels have to dig deeper into their non-existent depth to find an arm capable of pitching late in games.
Regardless, the Angels are now without Quijada for a little while, and the bullpen issues grow larger. Outside of Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore, who exactly is there that you trust?
Andrew Wantz has looked great in low-leverage spots, but struggled in his most recent high-leverage outing. Tucker Davidson is untested in that role. Chase Silseth can maybe develop into a trustworthy guy? Ryan Tepera is coming back any day now, maybe he can finally show something. Aaron Loup just showed once again he certainly can't be trusted.
As unpredictable as Quijada has been, he's more trustworthy late in games than most of the relievers the Angels have to offer. Losing him is a problem.