With all the hubbub regarding the start of spring training and some new pitching acquisitions, you'd be forgiven for not noticing the fact that the LA Angels recently lost one of their best young pitchers: Kyle Tyler.
Despite wowing in his debut season, the LA Angels shockingly DFA'd Tyler on March 20 in order to make room for Ryan Tepera on the 40-man roster. Tyler was subsequently claimed by the Boston Red Sox two days later.
The LA Angels have made a huge mistake letting go of someone as young and talented as Kyle Tyler.
In case you need a refresher, 25-year-old Kyle Tyler made his MLB debut in September of last year with the LA Angels and made an immediate impact.
Drafted in the 20th round of the 2018 draft, Tyler turned out to be a diamond in the rough as he quickly established himself as one of the top Angels pitching prospects. He dominated the minor leagues (2.59 ERA in A/A+, 3.66 ERA in AA/AAA) and after 60 appearances (including 32 starts) across three seasons, he made his MLB debut on September 5, allowing just one hit in three shutout innings against the Texas Rangers.
Overall, in 12.1 innings across five appearances last year, Tyler owned a 2.92 ERA and held batters to a miniscule .593 OPS.
Sure, he did walk six batters vs. just six strikeouts, but this was his debut season after all and it's not like he'll suddenly stop developing after showing so much promise. Plus, three of his walks came in his final appearance of the season and throughout the minors his walk rate never topped 2.9 BB/9.
Following such a performance, it seemed like a given that Tyler would be competing for a spot in the Angels' opening day bullpen, or at the very least be one of the first guys to be called up from Triple-A in case of emergency, maybe even as a starter.
And yet, with the Angels needing all the quality pitching they can get, in an era when teams are using more pitchers than ever and going to their bullpens earlier than ever, Tyler was still designated for assignment.
You'd think either Jack Mayfield (0.1 fWAR, 64 wRC+) or Luis Rengifo (0.1 fWAR, 67 wRC+) would get the boot first, especially considering that the Angels already brought in the likes of Matt Duffy, Andrew Velasquez and Tyler Wade to sure up their bench.
Though it should be noted that Tyler was actually DFA’d by the Red Sox one day after claiming him, it remains unlikely that someone with his talent will go unclaimed long enough for the Angels to bring him back.
Maybe there was a legitimate undisclosed issue that led to the Angels letting go of Tyler, but as of right now the move just looks unjustified and is a net-negative for the Halos.