At this point in the season, wins and losses don’t necessarily mean too much for the Los Angeles Angels. Sure, wins are nice, but the focus is on next season. That’s part of the reason why the Angels went down to Double-A to grab Janson Junk and Kyle Tyler, who started and had a long relief outing on Sunday against the Texas Rangers, respectively.
Junk had a mixed bag of a debut on Sunday. His first inning saw him allow back-to-back singles, before using a fly out and a double play to get out of it. He allowed a solo home run to DJ Peters in the second inning, but was clean otherwise.
The third inning is where things got murky. After getting two quick outs, he allowed a single and a walk. With runners on first and second and two outs, a throwing error by Luis Rengifo allowed a run to score and kept the inning going. Then, as Junk faced Peters for the second time, he allowed a first-pitch home run, scoring three runs and making it 5-0.
Because of Rengifo’s error, Junk was actually charged with just one earned run despite allowing five total. Manager Joe Maddon spoke positively of Junk’s debut as he continues to think of pitching combinations for next season, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“I thought he represented himself well,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought he was poised. I thought he had a good mound presence. I liked a lot of what I saw the first time out.”
Tyler — on the other hand — faced almost no issues in his debut. Out of the bullpen, Tyler allowed just one total baserunner over three innings pitched. He struck out two in the process of retiring nine of 10 batters, including seven consecutive.
x“Another great performance regarding makeup,” Maddon said of Tyler. “His fastball cuts naturally and it was really effective for him today. … Definitely knew what he was doing out there.”
The Angels wound up losing 7-3 and fell below .500 once again. However, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t appear to matter that much. L.A. got 6.2 innings of work out of pitchers making their Major League debut, and at this point, getting looks at these young players is more important than individual wins and losses.
For those who do care about wins and losses, the Angels still have a chance to close out this series with a win on Monday. Their starter is still TBD, but it’s unlikely they go to the Minor League well for yet another debut.
Jose Suarez pitches first complete game
Keeping in step with performances that provide hope for next season, Jose Suarez did just that during his outing on Saturday. He allowed just one run on five hits while striking out eight in his first career complete game.
He was just an inning away from a complete game shutout, but he’ll have to settle for the 9.0 innings pitched. In terms of building a starting rotation and long relief crew for next season, Suarez has forced the issue on being a part of that conversation.