The Los Angeles Angels are promoting former first-round pick Sam Bachman from AA Rocket City per Robert Murray of FanSided. The corresponding move and 40-man move will likely come tomorrow.
Bachman was selected ninth overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, and is yet another example of Perry Minasian wasting little time promoting prospects he deems ready.
While it's definitely exciting to see an electric arm like Bachman get the call, Murray saying Bachman will work out of the bullpen is where the Angels start to lose me.
LA Angels promoting Sam Bachman in latest desperate attempt to improve the bullpen
I understand some reasons why the Angels are deciding to do this. After watching Chase Silseth in relief maybe they think they can catch lightning in a bottle twice. Promoting a guy who's stretched out to work out of the bullpen gives them another guy who can go multiple innings, which Phil Nevin likes.
I understand them trying to improve the bridge to Estevez and Moore. It's much needed. We've seen guys like Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, Andrew Wantz, and Jimmy Herget in middle relief and fail. More recently, they turned to Reyes Moronta who has been shaky.
They've found some success with guys like Chris Devenski and Chase Silseth and hope Sam Bachman is the answer.
Bachman has made six starts in AA and has a 5.81 ERA in 26.1 innings pitched. That ERA is very inflated due to one awful start in which he allowed six runs in one inning of work. He's struck out 9.9 batters per nine which is good, but he's walked 6.8/9 which is atrocious. It's safe to assume that at least part of the command issues have come from the enhanced balls used in AA this season.
The Angels are trying whatever they can to improve the bullpen which I commend them for. Perry Minasian has never been shy about calling up prospects he believes will help. We've seen it pay dividends with Neto, and are starting to see it with Silseth as well.
This doesn't solidify Bachman's future as a reliver, despite many projecting him as a future closer. Plenty of teams use their pitching prospects in relief at first at the MLB level before stretching them back out. The Brewers did this with both Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.
I personally would've called on someone like Kenyon Yovan if the Angels wanted a pitcher from AA. In his 15 appearances this season, he's allowed just one earned run in 17.2 innings pitched. He's done a much better job at commanding the strike zone as well. Even arms like Kolton Ingram and Ben Joyce would've made a bit more sense to me over Bachman.
Whether the move to Bachman will work or not remains to be seen. It's not the move I would've necessarily made, but it's not some outlandish decision either. Hopefully he's the answer in the middle innings the Angels have been waiting for.