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Angels sign Yusmeiro Petit to minor league deal with Spring Training invite

He’s two years removed from a quietly solid 2014 season.

Washington Nationals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Just earlier today, the Angels announced they signed RHP Yusmeiro Petit.

Petit was formerly a starter but now pitches in relief. He has produced middling results in 2015 and 2016, but had an incredible 2014 in which he threw 117 innings in 38 appearances (17 as a starter) striking out over a batter per inning and walking just 1.69 batters per nine.

He’s a lot better than his 2015-2016 stats might indicate, though. Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report wrote the following:

His numbers from last year actually weren't as bad as they looked.

Petit had a 2.72 ERA in 49.2 innings of work over 26 appearances on Aug. 1 when he imploded.

The burly right-hander allowed at least one run in seven of his final 10 appearances and pitched to an unsightly 11.68 ERA during that span.

With a newfound value being placed on relievers capable of working multiple innings, he's well worth a roll of the dice this spring to see what he has left in the tank.

After all, it's not all that long ago he was one of the league's best long relievers and a key member of the San Francisco Giants title-winning 2014 team.

In the first half of 2016 with the Nationals, Petit recorded a 2.62 ERA in 44.2 innings of work. His second half was ugly, but most of the damage was limited to just seven games.

Taylor Blake Ward had the following analysis.

Apparently, Petit will be tried as a starter but with so much competition on that front (Chavez/Meyer/Campos/Norris/Smith, etc.), it’s more likely he sticks with the big-league bullpen.

For an Angels team with a bullpen not up to speed, this is a welcome signing on just a minor-league deal. Eppler knows this team still has flaws, but he’s trying to stretch the budget and diversify the risk on multiple players rather than put all of his eggs in one basket.

The bullpen is probably still not where it needs to be, but this is a small step in the right direction.