Prior to their series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels activated Ryan Tepera from the 15-day injured list and optioned Andrew Wantz to Triple-A Salt Lake as the corresponding move.
Tepera was expected to pitch in a high-leverage role, but he struggled to begin the year. He had also missed the last two weeks due to shoulder inflammation, and prior to being sidelined, struggled to the tune of an 11.25 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in four innings of work this season (six games).
Tepera tossed two perfect innings during a rehab assignment with the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers and revealed he made some mechanical adjustments while on the IL, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“The main thing I struggled with the first part of the season was really getting on the plate, keeping everything on the plate, especially the slider,” Tepera said. “That’s one thing I really looked into and focused on mechanically. I made some adjustments and I feel really good.”
Tepera noted he watched videos of himself pitching two years and changed his arm angle. The right-hander enjoyed a solid two-year stint with the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox before joining the Angels in free agency during the 2021 offseason.
Tepera went 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA, 4.21 FIP and 1.08 WHIP in 57.1 innings pitched across 59 appearances during his first season with L.A., and will look to get back to that level now that he is healthy and has corrected the issue that had been plaguing him.
Tepera owns a career 3.59 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 357 strikeouts across 358.2 innings. He also has 18 career saves, with six of them coming during the 2022 season, and 82 holds.
Angels need ‘a total team effort’ to close out games
The Angels finished the month of April with a 15-14 record, which was good for third place in the American League West behind the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.
The Angels went just 5-7 in games decided by one run, largely due to their offense and bullpen not clicking at the same time. General manager Perry Minasian called for the team to play better collectively when they enter these tight, late-game spots.
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