2022 Los Angeles Angels Player Reviews: Raisel Igesias
Raisel Iglesias, 2021 Season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just eight months after inking a fresh four-year, $58 million contract extension to stay with the Los Angeles Angels, Raisel Iglesias was dealt to the Atlanta Braves.

But prior to the trade, he underwhelmed, which was the main reason for the club to search for a dance partner at the mid-summer deadline.

Iglesias pitched like one of the best closers in all of Major League Baseball during the 2021 season, but he was unable to replicate that performance in 2022, carrying a 4.04 ERA, 1.065 WHIP, while notching 16 saves in 39 appearances.

Allowing 16 earned runs in 35.2 innings with the Angels this past season was just shy of the 20 he allowed in 70 innings during all of 2021. He took a step backward, and the Angels made a financial play by offloading his entire contract to the Braves for a pennies-on-the-dollar return.

Unfortunately for the Angels, in 26.1 innings pitched following the trade, he posted a 0.34 ERA and 1.52 FIP while compiling 0.9 WAR. But Iglesias wasn’t in his traditional closer role and the Braves were utilizing him as a setup man in front of their set closer, Kenley Jansen.

He lowered his opposing batting average allowed from .215 to .181 and stranded 91.3% of runners on base. Iglesias was pitching like his All-Star self, which prompted the Braves to allow Jansen to walk in free agency.

The return for Iglesias in the trade will pay almost no dividends because Jesse Chavez is a journeyman arm that isn’t with the club anymore, and Tucker Davidson is one poor half of baseball from a trip back to the Minor Leagues.

Raisel Iglesias 2022 highlight

From June 7 to July 2, Iglesias allowed just one earned run on a solo home run, including 17 strikeouts to just one walk allowed. In 10 innings pitched, he secured four saves with opponents reaching base at a dismal 0.91 clip.

2023 outlook

With the Braves, Iglesias can regain his footing as a big-league closer with a bullpen full of solid arms and an offense that should keep them in position to win the National League East.

Iglesias’ high-powered arm will need to continue his hot run as their designated closer during the 2023 season.

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