Jacob Barnes was a right-hander signed to a minor league deal who made the Angels bullpen as a non-roster invitee, and was most effective against left-handed batters in 2020.
He held lefties to just 4-for-24 (.167) with 12 strikeouts, and his strikeout rate against lefties (46.2 percent) was double his K rate against righties (23.1 percent).
Overall, Barnes had a 5.50 ERA in 18 innings, but thanks to solid peripheral numbers — 24 strikeouts against four walks, the best strikeout-to-walk ratio on the team, and only one home run allowed — gave him a 2.25 FIP. Amazingly, the difference between Barnes’ ERA and FIP (3.25) wasn’t the highest on the Angels. In fact, he was fourth, behind Shohei Ohtani (23.81), Jose Suarez (23.81), and Hansel Robles (4.37).
Barnes lived and died by the cutter, throwing it 52.4 percent of the time. Batters hit .311 with a .467 slugging percentage off the pitch, but when throwing the pitch with two strikes he got a strikeout 32.7 percent of the time, by far the best put-away rate of any of Barnes’ pitches.
Barnes was never on the injured list in 2020, but did have a few long periods of inactivity down the stretch in the final five weeks of the season, going 11 and 16 days between appearances.
After a rough patch that saw Barnes allow seven runs in five games, he finished strong, with four scoreless innings over his final three appearances, striking out nine of 14 batters faced.
Stats: 5.50 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 24 K, 4 BB, 18 IP
Game of the year
In the final weekend of the season, on September 26 against the Dodgers, Barnes pitched two scoreless innings of relief, striking out five of his seven batters faced.
Barnes was claimed off waivers by the Mets On October 30.