Promoting Ben Joyce is risk Angels had to take with Matt Moore injury

Los Angeles Angels v St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Following their sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Angels continue to frustrate fans by losing the first two games of their weekend series against the Miami Marlins. The Angels will look to salvage the series and navigate the next two weeks or longer without their premiere set-up man, Matt Moore.

The Angels signed Moore to a one-year deal this past offseason and he's been excellent, posting a 1.44 ERA in 22 appearances. Moore was one of two relievers the Angels had that I felt fully confident in when pitching in any situation, and now Carlos Estevez is the only man I trust.

With Moore out, the Angels needed to bring up a reliever with some upside to take his place. That's exactly what the Angels did with the Ben Joyce promotion.

Promoting Ben Joyce is the move the LA Angels had to make in light of the Matt Moore injury

There is no replacing Matt Moore. It's as simple as that. He was one of the best set-up men in baseball last season, and has been even better to start this season. The Angels will need their relievers to step up in a big way, and that includes the newly promoted Ben Joyce.

Joyce's numbers in AA Rocket City aren't great. He has a 4.50 ERA in 15 appearances and 15.2 innings pitched. He's walked 13 batters in those innings, which is obviously unsustainably high, but he's allowed just seven hits and has 24 strikeouts.

As we saw in Spring Training, there aren't many pitchers that can do what Joyce can do. He's a guy who can hit triple digits with his fastball consistently, it's all about location.

It's hard to know just how much the control issues were the fault of Joyce and how much the issues related to the baseballs used in the Southern League. That's simply something the Angels will have to find out at the MLB level.

If Joyce is able to throw consistent strikes at the MLB level, he has premier closer written all over him. He'll need to improve his breaking stuff, as even at 103-105 MLB players can make solid contact, but if he has other pitches to turn to, he'll be dynamite.

With Matt Moore out, the Angels needed to bring someone up with upside. Carlos Estevez is good late in games, Chris Devenski is starting to earn a lot of trust, but other than that, there aren't really any trustworthy late-game arms right now. The Angels don't have much of a choice outside of hoping Joyce develops into a guy Phil Nevin can trust in the seventh or eighth inning.

He was lights out for a large portion of Spring Training and was even making arguments to crack the Opening Day roster. Angels fans have begged for him for much of the season, and he's here now.