Manuel Flores Auditioning for The Show?

Late Saturday I saw a news blurb from Stephen C. Smith at announcing that LHP Manuel Flores was being called up from the (A+) IE 66ers to the (AAA) SLC Bees for a probable start of Sunday's game. Thinking it was both odd and interesting that a pitcher would jump two levels suddenly, I reasoned that Trevor Bell was recently re-called by the Angels, leaving an opening that, at least temporarily, needed to be filled.

Flores' line in SLC's 10-5 win Easter Sunday was an unimpressive 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 5 SO.  However, it's worth noting that he faced 4 batters in the 7th inning:  HBP, 2B, HR, 2B, before being replaced by Amalio Diaz.  All four scored.  Before he lost his control, his line was 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 0 BB, 5 SO....a nice, quality start. 

Still, I had to wonder why someone was picked from A+ IE instead of a spot starter, or one of Garrett Richards or Trevor Reckling or Orangel Arenas from AA.  I can understand their trying to not upset the apple cart with Reckling (again).  Certainly, IE is a much shorter and easier commute to SLC than is Arkansas.  Upon closer examination, I noticed that Flores, Richards, Reckling, and Arenas were born in the following order:  6/87, 5/88, 5/89, and 3/89.  So, putting Flores in AAA better lines up the pitchers chronologically.  Plus, it gives the Angels the possibility of having another LHP available, if he works out  (Horacio Ramirez isn't looking very good yet).

Finally, studying the career minor league stats from each of the four mentioned, one thing stands out:  Flores doesn't walk hitters.

                           BB/9        SO/9           SO/BB





I don't have a clue what the Angels' plans are for 2012 in their rotation; a good guess is Weaver, Haren, Santana, Chatwood, plus somebody (Bell, Palmer, Richards, Reckling, etc.).  Right now, I don't have a good feeling that they will re-sign Pineiro.  A left hander would be nice in the rotation or in the bullpen:  Downs has appeared in only two games so far, and although I 'm glad we've got him, Takahashi hasn't been overly impressive.

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