3 Angels relievers not on the 40-man roster most likely to see big league action this year
Being off of the 40-man roster makes it less likely a player makes the Opening Day roster even with a great spring. It's easier to not have to designate a player you like for assignment just to carry someone who might be slightly better for the last roster spot. This can be said for these three Los Angeles Angels relievers.
Most of the Angels' bullpen is set, especially after the signing of Matt Moore. There're one or two open slots, depending on if the Angels opt to use Jaime Barria in the sixth starter/swingman role. Pitchers on the 40-man roster have a serious leg up, but those not on the 40-man have a chance to impress.
These three Angels relievers don't feel like the most serious Opening Day roster candidates but can find their way up with the big club eventually and one, in particular, can make a huge impact.
1) LA Angels reliever Ben Joyce has the most upside for any reliever in the organization
Ben Joyce was drafted in the third round of the 2022 draft and then went immediately to AA. At Rocket City he had a 2.08 ERA in 13 appearances and 13 innings pitched. In those 13 innings he struck out 20 batters while walking four. He displayed his absurd fastball along the way.
Joyce is with the big club in Spring Training but is not on the 40-man roster. He's made two appearances, one that could be seen on television and one that could not. Joyce was pumping in triple digit fastballs in his first appearance and struck out two in a perfect inning of work. His second outing was a bit shakier as he walked two and allowed a hit, but got through the inning unscathed.
Joyce with his stuff has the most upside of any reliever in the organization. He has future closer written all over him. The reason he likely won't make the Opening Roster even with Phil Nevin saying he's going to carry the best 26 guys is because13 innings of work is nothing. They're likely going to want him to throw a bit more in the minors, and I can't blame them. Joyce not being on the 40-man is also going to be used against him.
However, with his stuff, I wouldn't be shocked to see Joyce up with the Angels at some point this year, especially if the bullpen is struggling. If he does find his way up here and looks good, expect him to stick.