Angels DFA Brendan Ryan… Again!

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Welcome to the LA Angels Insider ‘Halo Waiver Wire’, which is located within the Eppler’s Domain category. Here we will be listing daily Angels transactions for the 2016 regular season. Major transactions will be analyzed in separate articles. This will be a running post that will last throughout the end of the season. So let’s start with what’s been happening lately:

June 16, 2016

  • This was inevitable considering Andrelton Simmons was activated from the 15-day DL and Gregorio Petit is earning his roster spot. Anyways…

June 14, 2016

  • Pedro forgot to mention the fact that the Halos also designated Kyle Kubitza for assignment. With a .253 / .349 / .366 slash line, the once highly regarded prospect that former GM Jerry Dipoto was adamant about acquiring has not quite dazzled in his time with the Halos farm system.
  • This was still rising move considering the young prospect project to be a decent utility option in both the infield and outfield. However, too many injuries to the pitching staff has ordered an overload of relievers. Not to mention the emergence of Rafael Ortega and Gregorio Petit Has created some decent bench depth already.
  • Regardless, we at LA Angels Insider are guessing Kubitza will be back on the 40-man sometime soon. Perhaps the club could even include him in a trade…

June 11, 2016

  • Angels also trade catcher Erik Kratz to the Pirate for cash.

June 9, 2016

  • This is not surprising since Mahle has free fallen since getting off to a good start. As reported in the injury tracker, Cory Rasmus was activated from the 15-day DL to take Mahle’s place.

June 8, 2016

  • Valdez, 26, is the newest reliever to enter the roller coaster of Angels roster moves. The righty entered the 2016 season as Detroit’s number 23 prospect according to Baseball America, but has yet make the leap. He’s only logged nine innings in the Majors, all with the Tigers in 2015.
  • Despite his lack of Major League experience, and his age, Valdez has a 3.34 ERA in 67 1/3 innings at the AAA level, and has a 3.32 ERA in 276 2/3 minor league innings.
  • While Valdez averages over a strikeout per inning, perhaps it’s his 5.4 walks per nine inning is the reason he’s taken so long to get to the Big Leagues. His K rate has also dropped as he’s risen the ranks.
  • The corresponding move was designating lefty Chris Jones for assignment to clear a 40-man roster space for Valdez.
  • Angels also recalled Mike Morin from AAA Salt Lake.

June 6, 2016

  • The Angels will select the contract of David Huff to start Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees in The Bronx. Huff (31) signed with the Halos after opting out of his contract with the Royals. At AAA Salt Lake, the lefty yielded 7 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings, and has continued to post a high strikeout rate, which he has always displayed. The only question is whether he can translate that into the Angels’ rotation. This is likely an audition not only for depth in the rotation, but also for a spot in long relief when starters return.

  • Round and round we go! After getting Huston Street back, the bullpen looked like it was going to settle back into it’s normal roles, but Angels relievers are already taxed with so many starters going down. Guerra (27) has not quite given the club the length they’ve needed, and was designated for assignment after giving up four runs in 5 1/3 innings of relief.

June 1, 2016

  • When does it end?

May 31, 2016

  • More moves looking for additional bench depth. Nothing more…

May 30, 2016

  • Morin already has 25 appearances and we’re just now at the end of May. His 5.48 ERA has been more-so the product of bad luck. His FIP is 3.95 and his WHIP is 1.21. His game logs show that his ballooned ERA is the product of a few bad outings sandwiched between several goose eggs. Morin just needs more innings but also needs a breath of fresh air.
  • Guerra also had some bad luck with his 6.75 ERA, as his 1.61 FIP and 0.56 WHIP show. Unfortunately, with the Angels bullpen needing length, zeroes are the more important stat right now.
  • Jones has a 6.32 ERA at AAA Salt Lake. His 1.61 WHIP suggests his struggles are his own and he has problems controlling base runners.

May 26, 2016

  • There was actually more activity than just Kratz. Players rounding out the Angels’ 40-man roster have been called upon, and have performed, therefore creating a need for depth at catcher, the outfield, and the pitching staff at AAA Salt Lake. None of these players have done much. They’re all there to fill out the SLC roster, and remote emergency options… Next!

  • The club made the announcement on Saturday, and Ryan is likely headed to AAA Salt Lake if a team doesn’t claim him. The shortstop had 12 plate appearances with the Halos, resulting in goose eggs across the board. He was only there as a filler until a better option came onto the scene, which it did in Gregorio Petit.

May 27, 2016

  • As expected, the lefty will be back in AAA to make room for upcoming bigger roster moves.

May 25, 2016

  • This is Cowart’s second call-up with the Angels. The first happened last summer from August 18 through the end of the season. Caleb was hitting .303 / .352 / .454 at AAA Salt Lake while playing at all four non-catcher infield positions. The Angels have been grooming Cowart to be more of a versatile utility player, in mold of Chone Figgins, Maicer Izturis, and Cliff Pennington. But with the way the Halos’ bench depth has stepped up this season, bringing up Cowart may also be an audition for some kind of trade. We’ll see.
  • Luetge did not throw a single pitch for the Halos. His call-up was strictly to fill in a temporary vacancy by the recently signed Tim Lincecum, who was officially on the 25-man roster when the deal was official, but was then sent down to prep him for Big League innings next month. In order to make that move, the team had to DFA A.J. Achter to get Luetge on the 40-man.

May 22, 2016

  • Achter had a rough go in his two days with the Big Club, and Lute’s contract was selected, not only for the 40-man but also to take over Tim Lincecum’s spot on the 25-man roster. Timmy was technically on the active roster when he signed his Major League contract with the Halos, but then once the team optioned him to get his work in before making his 2016 debut, that spot on the club opened up, and Luetge was the man.
  • We’re still wondering why all of this could not be resolved by just calling up Neal Cotts. There must have been something else that kept the club from bringing him up…

May 21, 2016

  • Alburquerque had a 2.40 ERA but a 1.47 WHIP due to a 5.4 BB/9. The veteran reliever was looking real good early on but as his baserunners increased his basic stats began to look more and more like good luck.
  • Guerra had only three outings with no ERA, and will take Albuquerque’s 40-man spot in addition to A.J. Achter’s 25-man spot after Achter was sent down.

May 20, 2016

  • Another shortstop named Ryan is coming to Anaheim. Actually to Salt Lake. Jackson hit .000 for the Halos in just five games last season. He’s strictly another emergency option, and there are needs at AAA since there is no actual shortstop down there with Andrelton Simmons out for a long period of time. All shortstops in the Angels minor league system are pretty much stop-gap utility infielders.

  • This rounds out the rest of the roundabout of roster moves. Reynolds was once a decent prospect in the Angels’ system, and Marte was only up for a day. Moving on now!

May 18, 2016

  • Bandy was called up today to take the place of Geovany Soto, who suffered a torn meniscus while working out, and will need surgery that will have him out for up to six weeks. Bandy has two Major League plate appearances with the Halos, and should get more chances this time.

May 17, 2016

  • Apparently, the Angels had until today to add Cotts to their 25-man roster; however, there is a 48 hour window for the club to make a decision on whether or not the veteran lefty has a spot on their roster. The Halos did place Daniel Nava and Cory Rasmus on the DL today, so there were two openings to bring Cotts up. But the team opted to go with the kids again, bringing up outfielder Rafael Ortega and reliever A.J. Achter instead.
  • From the looks of it, Cotts will very likely be a free agent soon. And its not like he was dogging it at AAA Salt Lake, where the lefty has a 3.29 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 13 2/3 innings.
  • Cotts also has a 3.03 ERA and a 134 ERA+ in 187 innings over his last three seasons. Why this guy is not in a Major League bullpen right now is somewhat of a mystery. But he will find a job, even if the Halos won’t give him one.
  • One thing to consider, however, is that Daniel Nava and Cory Rasmus were both placed on the 15-day DL today, which means two spots are opening up.

  • This was basically a situation of ‘out with the old and in with the new’. Since Cotts exercised his opt-out, Huff was brought in to basically serve the same purpose. Unfortunately, the Halos are not getting the same talent as they had with Cotts, who has the numbers over the last four seasons (including 2016) to warrant a call up to help the Big Club add length to their bullpen.
  • Meanwhile, reliever Javy Guerra accepted his outright assignment and will return to Salt Lake to resume his emergency reliever role as well.

May 15, 2016

  • Choi was put in a tough spot since the injuries to the big club’s rotation began to pile up. When Daniel Nava returned from the DL, the Halos were faced with a decision to retain Choi or Rafael Ortega. They kept Choi, but as they lost Garrett Richards, acquired Jhoulys Chacin, needed length in the bullpen, and with Choi only being used sparingly, the backup first baseman and outfielder became expendable.
  • As a Rule 5 pick, the options were to waive Choi or offer him back to the Baltimore Orioles. Waivers was the choice, and Choi had the option to elect free agency since he had already been outrighted by the O’s. However, once cleared, Choi opted to stay with the Angels.

May 12, 2016

  • An expected move considering Guerra, who was battling back from injuries the last couple of seasons, was sporting a 9.00 ERA and was even having trouble just getting hitters out. His control just wasn’t there, and when he was in the strike zone his pitches were up.
  • Despite his abysmal first cup of coffee in 2016, Guerra was having what appears to be a stellar season at AAA Salt Lake, with a 2.19 ERA. However, his WHIP was 1.459, which suggests he was already getting himself into a lot of trouble and was just getting lucky enough to get out of it. That being said, it’s no surprise that Guerra struggled in his first call up in 2016.
  • Since April 20, Angels relievers came into Thursday night’s ballgame with a Major League-leading 2.00 ERA. So the last thing the Angels need right now is to have one of their depth pieces to tank when its obvious their relievers will be stretched thin with all of the injuries to the starting rotation.
  • Chances are that Al Albuquerque, another reliever trying to break back into the big leagues, will be called up today. Hopefully he’ll be more effective to allow Angels relievers some breathing room.

May 12, 2016

  • Nothing to see here, just Angels doing standard swapping of one player to the minors while a new player joins the big league club.

May 11, 2016

  • The Angels made a huge splash today… no they didn’t. They merely patched the wall with duct tape by acquiring Chacin from the Atlanta Braves for pitching prospect Adam McCreery. This kid is still young, however, at just 28, and was once heralded as a top pitching prospect in the Colorado Rockies organization. And although the righty hasn’t quite fulfilled his potential, he still hasn’t done too bad, sporting a 3.82 ERA / 4.05 FIP / 1.337 WHIP in eight Big League seasons.
  • Chacin has missed quite a bit of time the last two seasons leading up to 2016. He only made 15 starts in that time. And in 2016, he doesn’t have spectacular overall numbers with a 5.40 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. However, that stat is deceiving due to a modest 3.92 FIP and 1.388 WHIP. And looking back at his career, Chacin’s ERA and FIP have often been closely matched, making his ERA’s before this season mostly accurate.
  • This guy is pure number four material, which is about all the Halos can get right now as they simply try to keep their recently vacated rotation spots at least at around league average or better until reinforcements arrive.

  • I knew this move would happen sooner or later. Choi clogged that last bench spot and the team should’ve been able to keep Rafael Ortega instead. This makes room for Chacin, and after placing Garrett Richards on the 60-day DL, the club recalled Matt Shoemaker. Since Choi has been outright before, he can opt for free agency if he clears waivers. The Halos can even offer him back to his original club. Regardless, I don’t think Angels fans will lose sleep over this move. Moving on now…

May 10, 2016

  • This is about all Angels fans could hope for as a replacement for the recently injured Andrelton Simmons. Ryan is a good defensive-minded stop-gap. He’s just not very good with the bat, posting a .234 / .295 / .315 for his career. This season, Ryan was hitting .263 / .305 / .382 in AAA Syracuse for the Washington Nationals, the club from whom the Angels acquired the lively shortstop.
  • One thing to note is that the Angels didn’t have a single actual shortstop on their minor league depth chart after Simmons. Everyone playing the position in the Halos’ system are 2B/3B/SS utility players filling in as stop-gaps themselves. This, of course, is another reason the club acquired Simmons, along with having no options on the market this offseason. It’s just unfortunate that it has come to this.
  • Ryan does bring a lot of personality to this club, however, and that’s something they desperately need in these hard times. Oh, who am I kidding? At this point, the Halos are making moves for no reason.

May 6, 2016

  • This was the scramble the Angels had to go through after the Richards went down. We think Ortega should stay on the roster. There’s a chance more moves will be made that will eventually push Ji-Man Choi off the roster.

May 1, 2016

  • The Halos also have Thursday off, which was the Bearded One‘s next scheduled start, so it looks like they’ll just skip that spot in the rotation. In the meantime they’ll need some more outfield and pitching depth to correspond with new additions to what has turned into a rather long disabled list.


April 29, 2016

  • Bedrosian is getting another chance while Street goes down with an oblique injury. At AAA Salt Lake, Cam had a 3.24 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.

April 24, 2016

  • After three-plus weeks of waiting, the Halos finally announced the signing on Sunday. Reports say that Kendrick, 31, was still weighing his options, both as a player and in his personal life. Details of the contract then had to be hashed out. Kendrick then started for AAA Salt Lake against Jeremy Guthrie and El Paso. The veteran righty pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 ER, and only 4 hits, three of which were back-to-back-back homeruns. He got the win as the Bees barely beat the Chihuahuas 6-5. Kendrick adds to a long list of Halos starting pitching depth, and is another emergency option for a rotation riddled with injuries but is still holding the fort.

April 11, 2016

  • Westminster, California native Greg Mahle got his call up today. Mahle, 24, played baseball for the Westminster High School Lions, and was the 449th draft pick by the Angels in 2014, out of UC Santa Barbara. In 2012 at UCSB, the young lefty was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team. Reaching as high as AA Arkansas, Mahle has worked his way up as a closer, compiling a 2.97 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 97 innings. His brother Tyler plays in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Before Monday’s game against the Oakland A’s, Mahle described his call-up as, “Unbelievable.” Reliever A.J. Achter was sent down to AAA Salt Lake to make room for Mahle.

April 10, 2016

  • Reynolds, 24, was third round draft pick drafted by the Angels in 2009. He was with the Halos until this past offseason, when he was claimed by the Dodgers. From there, he was claimed by the Astros, and then claimed again by the Halos. The righty will be assigned to AA Arkansas.

April 9, 2016

  • The Angels’ bullpen threw a ton of pitches on Saturday night, prompting the need for a fresh arm.

April 7, 2016

  • Tropeano will replace Andrew Heaney in the rotation until Heaney returns. ‘Trop’ is scheduled to start on Monday against the A’s.

April 6, 2016

  • Heaney’s velocity dropped from about 93-94 MPH to about 90 MPH by the end of the third inning. He manage to last six innings, and didn’t really feel any pain. However, it was obvious something was wrong. Many were scared it was his UCL, which means Tommy John Surgery. Tests later revealed that it was just a strain.

April 3, 2016

  • The seasoned lefty gives the Angels better options from that side, as they really only have Jose Alvarez as their only specialist. If Cotts manages to break onto the big league squad and be a mainstay, he could also push himself into the seventh inning role, which we predict will be one of the key holes to fill throughout the 2016 season.

Previous transactions will be updated as information becomes available.