The Los Angeles Angels traded away Andrew Heaney after seven seasons with the team so that they could turn their focus towards a rising star in the Minors. Reid Detmers was that star, as he had proven that he was ready for the big leagues after dominant performances at both the Double-A and Triple-A level.
He made his MLB debut on Sunday in what was an extremely important game against the Angels’ division rivals, the Oakland Athletics. Detmers was solid in the first two innings. Despite allowing a walk and a hit, he struck out two and did a great job forcing bad contact with his off-speed pitches.
Then, the third inning is where things turned against him. He lost command of those same off-speed pitches, failing to land any of them for strikes. This made him one dimensional, and the Athletics’ hitters caught on. It wasn’t long before the A’s had tacked on five runs via home runs by Matt Olson and Yan Gomes.
Detmers recounted the emotions of his debut and what needs to happen for him during his next start, according to Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
“It was definitely a dream come true,” Detmers said. “Obviously it didn’t go as planned, but that’s baseball. You just got to bounce back.”
“I think I was just trying to overthrow,” Detmers said. “My off-speed [pitches] have been there all year. It just wasn’t there today.”
“You’re not going to have all your pitches every day,” he said. “Next time, land a couple more off-speeds, get them off the fastball and I’ll be fine.”
Joe Maddon shared in Detmers’ optimism after the game, one in which the Angels lost 8-3. Detmers, in total, finished with a line of 4.1 innings pitched, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two.
“I just told him afterwards, ‘Hang with it man. It’s going to get better,’” Maddon said, adding: “You have to have all of your weapons at your disposal in order to really work through [the A’s lineup]. He didn’t, but that’s OK. He’s going to in the future. And I’m certain he learned a lot today.”
This is part of the risk the Angels took with calling him up for such an important game. Growing pains are a part of the transition from Triple-A to the Majors, and Detmers is going to have to go through that process while helping the Angels make an improbable playoff chase.
Alex Cobb and Raisel Iglesias happy to stay with Angels
Many considered Cobb and Iglesias the two most likely Angels to get traded at the MLB Trade Deadline. However, general manager Perry Minasian felt that dealing them was a sign of giving up, something he did not want to do with the playoffs technically still in reach.
Both shared their excitement to stay in Anaheim for the rest of the year and even hinted at extensions for future seasons if all goes right.