A budding piece to the Los Angeles Angels bullpen last year was right-hander Jimmy Herget. A shaky start this season unforunately forced the team to use him as a moveable piece when needing a player to option to the minor leagues.
From Opening Day through July 17, Herget pitched to the tune of a 5.06 ERA, 6.57 FIP, with a 1.50 WHIP. The 30-year-old had relied primarily on his slider and his curveball, which provided negative returns even with his funky arm slot.
After spending time in Triple-A Salt Lake, Herget was recalled on Aug. 19 for one outing, but has since stuck in Major League Baseball from Sept. 1. In that span, he’s been phenomenal, utilizing his curveball at a 44.3% clip and discussed his up and down season following their finale with the Tampa Bay Rays, per Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“It’s obviously been a lot better,” Herget said Thursday, a day after he pitched two scoreless innings in a win against the Tampa Bay Rays. “Multiple times this year, things didn’t do the way that they should have. It’s obviously good to end with a good last month and head into the offseason.”
Including his Aug. 19 appearance, Herget has posted a 1.80 ERA, 1.56 FIP, with 13 strikeouts over 10 innings pitched through his Sept. 20 outing. Angels manger Phil Nevin highlighted a huge shift in his approach, pointing out an emphasis on filling up the zone:
“He’s throwing more strikes, and he’s kept it out of the middle,” Nevin said. “He’s been better against lefties. I think that’s the biggest key for him.”
Because of the unique way in which Herget throws, if he’s able to bottle up this recent run, he can maintain that into the offseason.
The Angels have a solid core of young arms to look ahead to, but it’s in their bullpen that the veterans carry a lot of the load.
Angels ultilityman Brandon Drury earning similar praise
In the Angels 8-3 win over the Rays on Wednesday, infielder Brandon Drury powered their offense during multiple points of the game.
Drury tallied two home runs, his first of which came in the second inning, when Rays right-hander Aaron Civale served up a three-run shot, extending the lead. He would later add another in the sixth inning, bringing his RBI total to five on the day.
It was Drury’s first multi-homer game since June 17, and his third, two homer performance of the year. His continued work through the season’s hurdles, and a battle with a shoulder issue in July, earned the eyes of many around the Angels coaching staff.
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