When the 2023 season began, Kelvin Caceres was in A+ Tri-City, nowhere near the big leagues. Now, the 23-year-old can tell everyone he knows that he has pitched in a big league game for the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels pitcher moved up three levels in the minors this season and earned a call-up for the final week of the campaign. Caceres is now on the radar as a potential bullpen option in 2024.
LA Angels call up potential 2024 bullpen option for the final week of the season
Caceres made 11 appearances in A+ ball this season and pitched well, allowing three earned runs in 11 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts in those innings. High strikeout numbers are what got Caceres through the minors as quickly as he did this season, as he fanned 85 in 54.2 innings of work between the three levels in the minors.
Caceres didn't pitch very well in AA Rocket City, but was still promoted to AAA Las Vegas for the final month of this season, mainly due to the fact that the Angels had to promote so many arms after losing Reynaldo Lopez, Matt Moore, Lucas Giolito, and Dominic Leone to waivers and needing arms anyway with roster expansion in September.
The right-hander made the most of his opportunity in the highest level in the minors, allowing just one run on five hits in 10 innings pitched for the Bees. He struck out 11 in those innings and was just so dominant in such a hard environment for pitchers to succeed in.
That clearly impressed the Angels front office as they wanted to give Caceres a look before the season ended. Jose Marte was sent down to make room, and that makes sense given the fact that Marte simply hasn't ever looked very good in the majors.
Caceres made his MLB debut against the Rangers but faced just two batters, walking one and getting Adolis Garcia to fly out. Hopefully he's able to appear in a game or two this weekend against the Athletics and face more than two batters.