26-year old righty swinging 1B/DH C.J. Cron is off to a very slow start for the Los Angeles Angels. He played in 113 games for the Angels last year and he was 99 of 378 (.262 avg, .739 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 16 homers, 51 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Cron played well enough last year that the Angels were confident that he could be a full time starter at DH or 1B for them in 2016. Cron has been switching off playing 1B or DH with Albert Pujols, so they both would be in the lineup every day. But, Cron is blowing his big chance to be an every day player so far this year. He has played in 8 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 2 for 26 (.077 avg, .226 OPS) with 0 runs scored, 0 homers and 0 RBIs. The Angels need him to pick up the pace, or they are going to have to put him on the bench.
The Los Angeles Angels have called up 23-year old lefty reliever Greg Mahle and they have sent 27-year old righty reliever A.J. Achter back to AAA. Mahle came into this season as the Angels’ #13 prospect according to Baseball America. He pitched in 1 game out of the pen in AAA this year for the Angels and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP. Mahle pitched in 52 games (0 starts) in A+AA-ball last year and he was 3-4 with 25 saves, a 3.26 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Mahle has now pitched in 76 games (0 starts) in his first three years in the minors and he is 4-6 with 27 saves, a 2.97 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Achter pitched in 1 game (0 starts) for the Angels this year and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. Achter could get another shot with the Angels later this year.
29-year old righty starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker was a revelation for the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. He pitched in 27 games (20 starts) for the Angels in 2014 and he was 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He finished second in the voting for the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award in 2014. The Angels had high hopes for Shoemaker in 2015, but he was a disappointment for them. He pitched in 25 games (24 starts) in 2015 for the Angels and he was 7-10 with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. In his first start this year, Shoemaker worked 3 innings and he was hit hard as he gave up 7 hits and 6 runs (all earned) while walking 3 batters and whiffing 2. The Angels aren’t going to stick by Shoemaker too long if he continues to struggle.
The Los Angeles Angels have claimed 24-year old righty reliever Danny Reynolds off waivers from the Astros. Reynolds pitched in 43 games (0 starts) in AA-ball for the Angels last year and he was 2-3 with 10 saves, a 4.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He has now pitched in 152 games (42 starts) in his first six years in the minors and he is 22-23 with 21 saves, a 4.39 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. The Angels have sent him to AA to start the 2016 season.
The Los Angeles Angels have sent 24-year old righty reliever Cam Bedrosian to the minors. Bedrosian pitched in 2 games (0 starts) for the Angels this year and he was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. He worked 2 innings for the Angels and he was all over the place, as he walked 2 batters and threw 2 wild pitches. The Angels called up 27-year old righty reliever A.J. Achter to replace Bedrosian in the bullpen. Achter came into the game last night for the Angels and he threw a scoreless inning, allowing no baserunners and whiffing a batter. Coming into this season, Achter had pitched in 18 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he was 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
The Los Angeles Angels got swept in their opening series against the Cubs and they were outscored 15-1! Only three Angels’ hitters are hitting .200 or better so far this year. Switch-hitting outfielder Daniel Nava was 1 for 3 (.333 avg, .667 OPS), righty swinging outfielder Craig Gentry was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .500 OPS) with 1 RBI and righty swinging catcher Carlos Perez was 1 for 5 (.200 avg, .533 OPS) against the Cubs. Albert Pujols and Mike Trout were a combined 0 for 15 with 5 whiffs against the Cubs. The Angels hit only .115 as a team with a .277 OPS against the Cubs. It’s way too early to be overly concerned about the bats.
The Los Angeles Angels have placed 24-year old lefty starting pitcher Andrew Heaney on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left flexor muscle. He lost last night against the Cubs, as he worked 6 innings in which he allowed 7 hits (2 homers), 4 runs (all earned) and he whiffed 7 batters. He has now pitched in 26 games (24 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 6-8 with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. The Angels hope that Heaney will only have to miss a couple of weeks. 25-year old righty starting pitcher Nick Tropeano is likely to replace Heaney in the starting rotation until he’s ready to return to action. Tropeano pitched in 8 games (7 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He has now pitched in 12 games (11 starts) in his first two years in the show and he is 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. The Angels are confident that Tropeano can do a decent job, but they hope they can get Heaney back soon….as he has the higher upside.
If anything happens to either Carlos Perez or Geovanny Soto, the Angels would likely call up 26-year old righty swinging catcher Jett Bandy. Bandy comes into this season as the Los Angeles Angels‘ #27 prospect according to Baseball America. Bandy played in 87 games in AAA-ball last year for the Angels and he was 90 for 309 (.291 avg, .813 OPS) with 47 runs scored, 11 homers and 60 RBIs. He also got his first taste of the majors in 2015, as he played in 2 games for the Angels in which he was 1 for 2 (.500 avg, 2.500 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 1 RBI. Bandy has played in 402 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 364 of 1,375 (.265 avg, .761 OPS) with 188 runs scored, 40 homers, 206 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.
The Los Angeles Angels have signed 36-year old lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a minor league deal. Cotts pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Twins and Brewers last year and he was 1-0 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Cotts has now pitched in 483 games (5 starts) in his first 10 years in the show and he is 21-24 with 4 saves, a 3.96 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Cotts will more than likely be pitching for the Los Angeles Angels early on in the 2016 season. I really like this pickup for them.
The Los Angeles Angels have sent 24-year old lefty swinging outfielder Rafael Ortega, 26-year old switch-hitting infielder Rey Navarro and 24-year old righty swinging 1B/3B Jefry Marte to the minors to start the 2016 season. Ortega played in 131 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 125 of 437 (.286 avg, .745 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 2 homers, 42 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. He did play in 2 games for the Rockies in 2012 and he was 2 for 4 (.500 avg, 1.167 OPS) with 1 stolen base, which is the extent of his major league experience. Navarro played in 10 games for the Orioles last year and he was 8 for 29 (.276 avg, .724 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. Navarro also played in 89 games in AAA-ball last year in which he was 94 of 360 (.261 avg, .682 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Marte played in 33 games for the Tigers last year and he was 17 of 80 (.213 avg, .697 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 4 homers and 11 RBIs. He also played in 95 games in AAA-ball last year in which he was 98 of 357 (.275 avg, .828 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 15 homers, 65 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. All three of these guys could play for the Angels at some point in 2016.