Ranking the 3 most pleasant surprises this season for the Angels so far
2. LA Angels reliever Jose Quijada has turned into the eighth inning man
Jose Quijada is the prime example of why Spring Training stats mean next to nothing. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in 5.1 innings pitched. He walked three and did not look good whatsoever.
Once the regular season rolled around, a switch flipped and Jose Quijada has been the best reliever in the Angels bullpen.
In his five appearances, Quijada has allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four in five scoreless innings. He's looked extremely comfortable and has been effective in high-leverage situations.
He's pitched the eighth inning three times and has yet to allow a hit. He has three holds in those appearances. He's pitched the ninth twice, both in save opportunities with Carlos Estevez unavailable, and has locked those down both times.
Quijada hasn't allowed more than one baserunner to reach in any outing and hasn't thrown more than 18 pitches in an outing. I thought he was the third-best left-handed reliever this bullpen had, but he's turned out to be the best of the trio. We'll see how long it lasts, but for now, he's been a very pleasant surprise.