Angels Roster: Reyes Moronta Designated For Assignment
MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros
Sep 28, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Reyes Moronta (59) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels designated journeyman reliever Reyes Moronta for assignment after a month within the organization that saw him make his debut for the team this past week.

Moronta signed a Minor League deal with the Angels in early May, having an easy go of it when initially reporting to Triple-A Salt Lake. When a number of relief options went down with season-ending injuries in José Quijada and Austin Warren, he was a solid addition.

Early in his career with the San Francisco Giants, Moronta proved to be one of the more valuable and consistent setup relievers for manager Bruce Bochy. He tallied a 2.66 ERA in 128.1 innings pitched in his three years with the Giants.

He appeared in two games for the Angels, logging 1.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Replacing him on the active roster is young right-hander Sam Bachman, a former first-round pick in the 2021 Major League Draft.

Moronta’s stuff wasn’t lacking, but a roster crunch made him an asset they could afford to place on waivers. If he goes unclaimed, the Angels can outright him back to Triple-A, but the veteran can decide to forgo the assignment and opt to hit the free agent market.

The move made room for Sam Bachman, one of the organization’s top prospects, to join the bullpen.

In six starts at Double-A with the Rocket City Trash Pandas, Bachman went 3-2 with a 5.81 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched. The plan to put him in the bullpen is an attempt to capitalize on his high-powered arsenal, which features an upper 90s four-seam fastball.

At Double-A this season, he’s posted a 9.9 K/9, while allowing just three homers, with his largest blemish coming in the form of free passes (20).

Carlos Estévez settling into Angels closer role

After Carlos Estévez pitched like a top-5 reliever in the second half of last season, and after a difficult Spring Training, he’s proving to be worth the investment.

The last big-time closer the Angels had at the backend was Raisel Iglesias, whom they traded for and extended on a huge contract following the 2020 season. But early on into the 2023 season, he’s 12-for-12 in save opportunities with a 1.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in 22 innings pitched.

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