Los Angeles Angels reliever Chris Rodriguez has not pitched in a game in nearly three weeks. His last outing was May 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, before he was sent to the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Before that injury, he was pitching incredibly and was one of the team’s most reliable bullpen arms.
Since he went on the injured list, the Angels are 6-10 and have dropped to dead last in the American League West, 7.5 games back of first place. Six of those 10 losses came through the bullpen either blowing a lead or allowing the opponent to break a tie. Statistically, the Angels have the worst bullpen in baseball by ERA.
Hopefully, their fortunes may be turning around soon, as Rodriguez recently threw a bullpen session and could be activated very soon, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
Rookie reliever Chris Rodriguez threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and is getting close to returning from right shoulder inflammation that has kept him out of action since May 5. Rodriguez said his throwing sessions have been going well and that he expects to be activated soon.
“I’m feeling good, feeling great,” Rodriguez said. “I’m ready to go back out. I don’t like the IL and I want to get off it. Right now it’s day to day. Just listening to the medical staff, but everything is feeling good and I’m confident it should be soon.”
Rodgriguez is 2-0 this season with a 2.30 ERA. In 15.2 innings, he’s allowed just four total runs and has struck out 17 batters compared to eight walks. He also hasn’t allowed a run since April 21, when he gave up a single run to the Texas Rangers in a 2.1-inning appearance.
Bringing Rodriguez to the Major League team as a reliever was a brilliant move by Joe Maddon and Perry Minasian. It’s clear he’s ready for the big leagues but in a more monitored setting. Hopefully, his return can help to restore order to a bullpen that desperately needs it.
Angels blow lead in divisional matchup
The Angels held a 4-3 lead heading into the seventh inning of their series opener against the Oakland Athletics, meaning they needed just nine outs from their bullpen to secure a big win. Instead, Mike Mayers gave up a three-run home run the very next frame, giving the Athletics a 6-4 lead they would not give back up.