The Angels have signed 31-year old righty swinging outfielder Luis Montanez to a minor league deal. He played in 52 games in Independent ball earlier this year and he was 63 of 201 (.313 avg, .837 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 6 homers, 41 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He last played in the majors back in 2011 with the Cubs. Montanez has played in 129 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 68 for 305 (.223 avg, .586 OPS) with 31 runs scored, 5 homers, 32 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Montanez could get another shot at the majors later this year with the Angels if he hits well for them in the minors.
The Angels have signed 29-year old righty reliever Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal. Ekstrom pitched in 21 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the A’s earlier this year and he was 1-1 with 3 saves, a 5.10 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. He last pitched in the majors in 2012 with the Rockies. Ekstrom has now pitched in 51 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 0-3 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Ekstrom will have to pitch well in AAA if he wants to get a shot with the Angels later on in 2013.
UPDATE: (8/8/2013) - The Angels have released Mike Ekstrom. He pitched in 17 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Angels and he was 2-2 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
29-year old lefty swinging SS Erick Aybar isn’t helping out too much offensively this year for the Angels. He has played in 45 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 47 of 183 (.257 avg, .627 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 1 homer, 17 RBIs and 1 stolen base. In his first 12 games in June, Aybar is only 11 of 48 (.229 avg, .552 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 0 homers and 5 RBIs. Aybar needs to start giving the Angels better offense as they were depending on him getting on base more and using his speed to mess with opposing pitchers.
The Angels have signed 29-year old lefty reliever Dustin Richardson to a minor league deal. Richardson just got finished serving a 50-game PED suspension. He pitched in 6 games (1 start) in Independent ball this year and he was 0-0 with a 1.04 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He last pitched in the majors back in 2009 with the Boston Red Sox. Richardson has pitched in 29 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 0-0 with a 3.31 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP. Richardson will have to work his way to Los Angeles by pitching well in the minors.
The Angels have placed 28-year old righty reliever Robert Coello on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 10th, due to right shoulder inflammation. Coello pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 2-2 with 1 save, a 4.30 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The Angels have called up 30-year old righty reliever Dane De La Rosa to replace Coello in the bullpen. De La Rosa pitched in 27 games (0 starts) earlier this year for the Angels and he was 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
29-year old righty swinging 2B Howie Kendrick is having a true breakout year in 2013. He has played in 64 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 78 for 246 (.317 avg, .819 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 8 homers, 32 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Kendrick is off to a really hot start in June, as he has played in 9 games so far this month in which he is 15 of 35 (.429 avg, .988 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Kendrick has career highs coming into this season of 86 runs scored, 18 homers, 75 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. If Kendrick stays healthy, I think he will set new career highs in all four of the categories mentioned.
The Angels have designated 27-year old righty swinging Chris Nelson for assignment. Nelson has played in 7 games for the Angels this year and he is 3 for 9 (.333 avg, .667 OPS) with 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Nelson has played in 38 games overall this year for the Rockies, Yankees and Angels in which he is 27 of 111 (.243 avg, .580 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 0 homers, 8 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Nelson’s roster spot was needed for outfielder Peter Bourjos, who has been activated from the D.L.
UPDATE: (6/13/2013) - Chris Nelson has accepted an outright assignment to AAA from the Angels after he cleared waivers.
24-year old righty reliever Kevin Johnson is serving as the closer in AA-ball for the Angels so far this year. He has pitched in 20 games (0 starts) in AA-ball so far this year and he is 2-2 with 8 saves, a 2.92 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He has given up 28 hits and 6 walks while whiffing 13 batters in his first 24 2/3 innings in the minors this year, so he has been far from dominating. Johnson has now pitched in 141 games (10 starts) in his first four years in the minors and he is 9-16 with 35 saves, a 4.18 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Johnson came into this season as the Angels’ #29 prospect according to Baseball America. Johnson could get his first shot at the majors later on in 2013, if he keeps pitching well in the minors.
31-year old righty Jerome Williams is heading back to the bullpen for the Angels, due to the returns of Jered Weaver and Tommy Hanson. Williams started 6 games for the Angels while Weaver was out of action and he was 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He has now pitched in 14 games (6 starts) overall this year for the Angels and he is 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Williams will be an asset in the pen as he is proving to be a solid pitcher no matter what role the Angels need him in so far this year.
26-year old righty reliever Michael Kohn and 28-year old righty reliever Robert Coello are both in a good zone for the Angels right now. Kohn has pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has given up 7 hits and he has walked 8 batters while whiffing 18 of them in his first 15 innings this year, which is impressive. Coello has been even better for the Angels so far this year. Coello has pitched in 10 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 1-1 with 1 save, a 0.73 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. He has given up 7 hits and 2 walks while whiffing 18 batters in his first 12 1/3 innings this year. The Angels need Kohn and Coello to keep up the good work as they need all the help that they can get in the pen.