The 2022 regular season for José Quijada felt like a breakout party in his fourth year in Major League Baseball, and the success he had was a welcomed addition to the Los Angeles Angels’ relatively young group of arms.
Quijada made his debut with the Angels in 2020 after they claimed him off waivers from the Miami Marlins in the offseason prior. His three-pitch mix has slotted him into a bullpen role the past few seasons, most recently carrying a 3.98 ERA and notching 12 holds in 40.2 innings pitched.
He features a mid-90s fastball which he uses 84.9 percent of the time and a changeup & slider combo he uses to compliment his hard-throwing style. His four-seamer grades out at a -8 run value, No. 47 among qualified pitchers in all of baseball, per Baseball Savant.
Unfortunately for Quijada, he suffered an oblique strain early in the season which sidelined him from April 8 until his return outing on May 29. However, when he returned, Quijada became one of the Angels’ trusted arms out of the bullpen, surrendering a slim .171 batting average to opposing hitters and featuring a 3.85 FIP.
He finished the season with a 3.98 ERA over 40.2 innings with 52 strikeouts to 21 walks, along with three saves.
José Quijada 2022 highlight
On Sept. 3 against the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros, Quijada followed up Shohei Ohtani’s stellar performance by coming into a 1-1 game in the top of the ninth.
He would go on to notch two strikeouts in a scoreless inning and Angels manager Phil Nevin leaned on Quijada in extras when he shut down the Astros with another shutout frame.
Quijada’s development and experience during the 2022 season should prove to be incredibly valuable for him and the Angels going forward. If he’s able to improve upon his secondary pitches to go alongside his elite fastball, they could have a phenomenal left-handed reliever that could potentially take over a prominent role at the backend of the Angels bullpen.
It would not be surprising to see him get save chances, especially if the opposing team is set to feature a left-handed-heavy mix of hitters in the ninth inning.
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