As it has been for quite some time now, pitching remains the biggest need for the Los Angeles Angels to take the next step to contending for a World Series. Two of their most promising young pitching prospects — Chris Rodriguez and Reid Detmers — are taking the next step towards helping the Angels in that goal.
The Angels announced on Thursday that both Rodriguez and Detmers would be promoted from Double-A Rocket City to Triple-A Salt Lake, meaning both are just one step away from the Major League team.
Rodriguez has already spent some time in the Majors this season. After being drafted as a starting pitcher and dealing with various back and shoulder injuries, the Angels decided to take a chance on him in the 2021 season as a reliever. He was extremely impressive in that role through the first month of the season, sporting a 2.30 ERA through his first 15.2 innings with the team.
However, he dealt with shoulder inflammation that landed him on the IL for a full month. After returning, he wasn’t his usual self, allowing four earned runs in four innings pitched over five appearances. Following that stint, he was optioned to Double-A to work on his mechanics and get back to being a starting pitcher.
Detmers, on the other hand, has had little to none of the struggles that Rodriguez has faced. After being the Angels’ first-round draft pick in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, he made his debut at the Double-A level to begin the 2021 season. There, he had been close to dominant.
While a 3.50 ERA and 1.167 WHIP over 54.0 innings pitched may not seem dominant, a closer look at some other statistics certainly could change that viewpoint. In those 54 innings, he has struck out an incredible 97 batters. This gives him a K-per-9 of 16.2. For reference, the MLB leader in K-per-9 among qualified pitchers is Carlos Rodon with 13.0.
He also has walked 18 batters, giving him a BB-per-9 of 3.0, which would put his right around Lance Lynn and Charlie Morton, two of baseball’s most reliable starters. Detmers biggest downfall at the moment is an average of just 4.5 innings per start, meaning he will need to work on longevity at the Triple-A level.
For fans who have been clamoring for pitching for a very long time, this is a welcomed sight. Detmers and Rodriguez taking the next step to being Major League starters could mean great things for an Angels team that is just searching for positive news on the pitching front.
Angels agree to terms with Sam Bachman
Another Angels draft pick who many see as relatively close to MLB ready is 2021 first-rounder Sam Bachman. Bachman was picked No. 9 overall by L.A., and he recently agreed to terms on his Angels contract. He signed for $1.1 million below slot value.