by BJ Martin, Angels Nation Staff
Last week, the Angels named Dylan Bundy their Opening Day starter April 1st against the Chicago White Sox.
Friday afternoon, the right-hander took the mound against the Kansas City Royals for his third start of the spring. Wyatt Earp incarnate was dealing for the Angels, shutting down KC hitters throughout his outing.
The Angels Opening Day starter. Just getting tuned up. https://t.co/x3Up68w2Wq
— Halo Life ⚾ (@_HaloLife) March 19, 2021
The former Orioles starter used a combination of his fastball, slider, and change to keep Royals at bay for the first three innings. Allowing only one hit and striking out two his first time through their batting order.
The veteran starter would surrender his only two runs in the fourth inning following a lead-off double by Andrew Benintendi and error by Phil Gosselin. Carlos Santana hit a fly ball to deep center field that was misplayed by Jo Adell leading to two runs on a ground-rule double.
Bundy would finish the day pitching five innings, allowing one earned run, walking none, and striking out 6 Royals hitters.
The 2,156 faithful fans at Tempe Diablo Stadium would see the 9-inning game end in a 4-4 tie.
The ‘Brief Breakdown’:
The single earned run charged to Bundy was the first he’s allowed in 11.2 innings pitched this spring. The 28-year-old pitcher has a 0.77 ERA in three Cactus League starts this spring.
Angels closer Raisel Iglesias surrendered a lead-off double and RBI single to open up the 8th inning before striking out Anderson Miller and Ryan McBroom swinging to end the inning.
Mike Mayers rebounded nicely from a few challenging spring outings to pitch a perfect seventh inning against the Royals. The veteran right-hander surprised many as the best reliever in the Angels’ bullpen last season. He’s expected to share set-up duties with Alex Claudio, Felix Pena, and Ty Buttrey this year.
Prospect Chris Rodriguez continued to impress striking out both Adalberto Mondesi and Jorge Soler in his inning of work. His only mistake was a two-out pitch that slugger Carlos Santana deposited onto the left field lawn berm. The 22-year-old right-handed power pitcher has 9 strike outs in 5.1 innings this spring.
Jesses Chavez came back from an awful outing earlier this week to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The longshot for a spot in the bullpen still has a shot to make the club due to recent rash of injuries to Angels other relievers.
Scott Schebler is continuing to make Perry Minasian and Joe Maddon’s selection of a fourth outfielder difficult. Stepping up to the plate with two outs and runners in scoring position, he crushed a Brady Singer pitch over the right field wall. The left-handed slugger finished the afternoon 2-for-2 with 2 runs scored and is hitting .368 with a 1.368 OPS in 19 spring at bats.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 19, 2021
Jose Rojas continues to make a strong impression with his versatility in the field and performance at the plate. The 28-year-old Anaheim native went 2-for-2 with a double and his hitting .400 in 20 spring at bats during Cactus League play.
Max Stassi started behind the plate and caught six innings before being replaced by Anthony Bemboom in the bottom of the seventh inning. The catcher went 1-for-3 with a double and run scored Friday afternoon and is hitting .300 for the preseason.
Juan Lagares kept pace with Schebler contributing with a hit, going 1-for-3 for the day and is hitting .393 with a .878 OPS this spring. Lagares and Schebler are clearly separating themselves from the other fourth outfielders in camp this month.
Reid Detmers and Chris Rodriguez are prospects with high hopes in the Angels front office. Manager Joe Maddon alluded the fact that it’s not impossible for either to make the April roster. He also emphasized that it’s something that should be viewed as possible but unlikely.
Aaron Slegers is experiencing back spasms that have prevented him from pitching the past few days. He’s the second reliever that’s currently sidelined with injury joining Felix Pena, who’s expected to miss 2-4 weeks with his hamstring strain.
On Saturday: The Angels will host division rival Oakland Athletics in Tempe. Sending Jaime Barria to the mound against the A’s Chris Bassitt. The 1:10 PM (PT) game will be broadcast for television on Fox Sports West and MLB Network and on the radio on KLAA.