Los Angeles Angels starter and former first-round draft pick Reid Detmers recently took time in the Minor Leagues to re-work his slider and build his confidence. In his first two starts back with the Angels, it’s safe to say that the results have drastically improved.
On Thursday, Phil Nevin put Detmers in as the starter, taking back the rotation spot that was once given to Chase Silseth. Detmers faced no simple task, going up against the disciplined and deep Houston Astros. However, Detmers has historically done well against the AL West’s top team.
He continued that trend on Thursday evening in Anaheim, tossing six innings and giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, all while striking out six batters. After allowing the first four batters to reach base safely, Detmers collected himself to retire 16 of the next 20 batters he faced before being removed.
Nevin was highly complimentary of what Detmers was able to do in his second start back from the Minor Leagues, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He was awesome,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “To be able to pitch through the sixth inning like he did was phenomenal. He found the feel for his pitches right away where I think in the past he would’ve had a hard time reeling them back in. But that was a winning effort today. What he did after the first inning was outstanding.”
“The numbers on the board were good and the velocity was up right where we want it,” Nevin said. “He made some great pitches with it. And even when he fell behind in the count later in the game, he was able to reel it back in. For him to make those self-adjustments on his own, that’s the mark of a frontline starter.”
Detmers was also proud of the way he was able to bounce back from a difficult first inning.
“It was definitely a grind,” Detmers said. “After the first four batters, I felt good. It was just trying to get the feel of things again. I just didn’t have any feel for the first few batters but once I settled in, I was fine. It was just feeling my body. I was falling into my old habits again, but then once I started to feel like myself, that’s when things started to get better.”
For the Angels, this is the exact type of performance they have been hoping for. Lasting six innings after the way things started showed the type of growth Detmers has undergone in his first full MLB season. Young pitchers are always going to have bumps, but truly great players find ways to be effective regardless.
He won’t start again until after the All-Star Break. Perhaps that rest will give him time to go through his up-and-down first half and figure out how he can come back with even greater consistency and command.
Jo Adell hoping to continue hot hitting in Majors
Detmers is not the only young Angels player to take some time in Triple-A this season to re-assess their game. Jo Adell also took the demotion in order to get his plate discipline and vision under control. He was called up earlier this week due to Mike Trout dealing with back spasms.
In two games, Adell is batting 3-for-9 with an RBI, but he does have four strikeouts. He’s hoping to continue the hitting streak he was on in the Minor Leagues, and still looking for his first truly successful stint with the parent team.