The Angels continued to trim their roster down mere hours before they finalize their 25-man rosters. Via the Angels PR twitter account, the club has optioned right-handed pitcher Jaime Barria to Triple-A and released left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings.
This was a bit of an unexpected move as Barria seemed like a lock for the fifth starter’s spot and Jennings was the only left-handed pitching option left in the bullpen. Instead, it looks as if the newly acquired Chris Stratton will take the last rotation spot and Luke Bard will take one of the bullpen spots.
The 22-year-old Barria tossed 129 1/3 quality innings last year, posting a very solid 3.41 ERA with less impressive peripherals. Jennings, who had a 3.22 ERA in 64 1/3 innings for the Brewers last year, signed a minor league pact with the Angels but ultimately couldn’t crack a roster spot just before Opening Day.
Stratton and Bard, who are both high spin-rate guys and interesting Statcast case studies, weren’t even members of the organization a few months back but look like the likely options to occupy the last two pitching slots. This is purely speculation at this point but Stratton is out of options and Bard has seen significant time the past few weeks.
Another trade could be in the works but with two days left until the season, it’s likely the club will roll with their in-house options. If some other surprising releases happen in the next 24 hours, the club could pounce on a pitcher that intrigues them. Stay tuned later as we will likely hear the announcement of the official 25-man roster.