Jhonathan Diaz was called up to the LA Angels' Big League club on Friday to start the series opener against the Washington Nationals. This was in response to Jose Suarez getting sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake after his early-season struggles. Diaz, however, certainly didn't struggle in his first start of 2022.
Making just his third start of his now two-season Big League career, Diaz didn't look the part as he threw five scoreless innings against Washington. Getting the win, Diaz only allowed three hits. It was just that third start of his Big League career, and he already showed so much improvement upon the pitcher he was just last year.
Last year, in three Major League games (two starts), Diaz returned a 4.15 ERA to go along with a 4.63 FIP and a 109 ERA+. Diaz, who was tearing it up with the Bees in Triple-A, got his chance and took advantage of it on Friday.
Will it be a thing of the future? That remains to be seen, as he was optioned back down to Salt Lake the next day.
The Angels did, however, see some very impressive promise displayed by Jhonathan Diaz while they had the chance.
Jhonathan Diaz had started four games for the LA Angels Triple-A squad and posted a 1.96 ERA to go along with a 0.957 WHIP and a 4.7 hits per nine rate. To do it in front of Matt Wise, Joe Maddon, and the rest of the Big League club, however, will go a long way for Diaz.
Perhaps this is an indicator that Diaz maybe needs to see more time in the Bigs. Perhaps the Halos will look to use him in the pen, or consider him as an injury fill-in if the need arises. All in all, however, Diaz absolutely aced his audition to be on the coaches' radar for the future when it comes to call-ups.
With the Angels currently looking like a playoff team, don't be surprised if Diaz finds his way back onto the roster in September to give the team a bit more pitching depth as they close on a postseason run.