Reid Detmers, the prized University of Louisville left-hander the Angels drafted 10th overall in the 2020 draft, was considered “major-league ready” by Angels scouting personnel prior to the draft.
In the bizarre scenario of 2020 coronavirus baseball, Detmers’ time may come sooner than expected.
Only 21 years old, Detmers is pitching every fifth day at the Angels’ alternate training site at Long Beach’s Blair Field.
And Monday, Angels manager Joe Maddon said he wouldn’t rule of the possibility of Detmers making his MLB debut this season.
“It’s not out of the question that he may be able to help us this year,” Maddon said. “Regarding next year, with a full minor-league system operating, who knows? … It’s just a matter of the functionality of the entire organization, I think.”
Detmers has ramped up to a maximum of five innings so far at training camp. He’s already a millionaire — having signed on June 28 to a contract of $4.67 million — and is pegged as a No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher.
Detmer said he has been tweaking the grip on his slider after listening to teammates, sharpening the break on the pitch to make it move more like a true slider than a “slurve.”
Said Detmers, a 6-foot-2 lefty: “Our staff hasn’t really done much with me. They’ve kind of just left me on my own. They’re still trying to see what I do, watching me every day.”
And he’s definitely confident.
“I think I’m mentally ready and getting physically ready,” Detmers told the Daily News. “Obviously I’ve only thrown five innings so far here, but I think my arm is in good enough shape right now to have success in the big leagues.”
Maddon’s thinking may be based on the sheer amount of players making their major-league debuts this season — whether through raw talent or through attrition to coronavirus testing.
A total of 112 players had made their MLB debuts by Monday. And a lack of advance scouting due to coronavirus protocols — no spectators in stadims — means that teams know less about prospects of opposing teams than ever before.
In theory, Angels opponents would have very little knowledge about Detmers other than teams who had scouted him for the draft.
“Nine rookies in a lineup scares the crap out of me,” Maddon said. “Even if you’ve seen a guy once or twice, to me, my eyeballs are important.”
Injury updates: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons took ground balls and batting practice before Monday’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Maddon said Simmons said the shortstop still has trouble moving side to side and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Reliever Cam Bedrosian, who has an oblique strain, has no timetable for a return despite having started a throwing program. Catcher Jason Castro, suffering from a stiff neck, was held out of the lineup again as Max Stassi took care of duties behind the plate.