The Los Angeles Angels made the surprising decision to promote Sam Bachman from AA Rocket City prior to Friday's game and have him work out of the bullpen. He joins Chase Silseth as Angels starting pitchers from the 2021 draft class who Perry Minasian is choosing to work out of the bullpen this season.
Bachman wasn't having the best statistical season in AA, but there were plenty of reasons to believe that his stats were impacted by the different baseballs used in the Southern League.
In a frustrating night where Reid Detmers wasn't at his best and the offense couldn't generate much, Sam Bachman was one of, if not the brightest spot for the Angels.
LA Angels pitcher Sam Bachman impresses in MLB Debut
Bachman was called on to pitch the top of the eighth with the Angels trailing 5-2. This was a nice spot to put him in considering the circumstances, as the situation called for a low-leverage reliever.
Command was an issue as expected. Bachman walked 6.8/9 in AA this season, and even with the different baseballs, has never been a guy to rely on his command. Bachman was also working with a ton of adrenaline, as you might expect from someone making his MLB debut.
Of the 47 pitches he threw last night, only 26 of them were strikes. He found himself working from behind often and walked a pair of batters in two innings of work.
Control issues are never fun to watch and need to be worked out, but other than that, I thought Bachman really impressed. He was hitting 96-97 mph consistently with his sinker and paired that pitch with a nasty cutter and slider.
In his two innings of work, the only negatives were his command and one hard-hit single off the bat of Jonathan Davis. Other than that, the other hits were hit softly, especially the Luis Arraez RBI single.
Bachman struck out four batters and got his other two outs on a double play ball. That';ll work!
Bachman offers some things this bullpen needs. He is a high-velocity pitcher which is something this Angels bullpen has lacked. He can get you a strikeout when needed which is another thing this bullpen has lacked. Lastly, he's a guy who can go multiple innings, which every bullpen could use.
You can see the pros and cons right away with Bachman. If he improves his command, he can become a lock-down reliever late in games. If not, who knows what his future will hold. What I can say is I certainly love his upside over someone like Reyes Moronta.