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2021 Angels Player Review: Alex Claudio

Another turn in the Angels pitching carousel brought the left-handed reliever to Anaheim, but it was a quick 41-game stay before he was released in July.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Angels pitching staff worked through quite a few rotations during the 2021 season, and with those rotations came the introduction of several new faces to the active roster including reliever Alex Claudio who was signed in December 2020 and played 41 games with the team, 11 of which he finished.

Claudio came to Anaheim from the Milwaukee Brewers where he finished the 2020 season with a 4.26 ERA after 20 games played and 19 innings pitched. What he lacked in velocity and speed, he made up for in skilled deliveries that often left batters with weak bat to ball contact.

The lefty’s 4-seam fastball, which was his least favorite pitch this season, only averaged about 85 MPH. On the other end of the pitching spectrum, Claudio’s go-to pitch was his sinker which put away 12% of the batters he faced. His next pitch was his second favorite and by far the most successful — the slider — which put away about 17% of batters this season.

In his first year with the Angels, the left-handed pitcher slowed down his performance, earning a 5.51 ERA after 32.2 innings pitched. He left the season with a 1-2 record. In comparison with other Halos relievers such as Raisel Iglesias, Claudio’s season performance left much to be desired, especially considering that he played more this season than he did with the Brewers.

2021 Stats

1 Win / 2 Losses / 5.51 ERA / 41 Games / 11 Games Finished / 32.2 Innings Pitched / 30 Strikeouts / 15 Walks / 1.592 WHIP / -.1 WAR / 37 Hits Allowed / 22 Runs Allowed / 6 Home Runs Allowed

Best Performance of the Year

Every fan knows the golden moments in baseball, and it’s no secret that one of those golden moments is a victory achieved in extra innings. Claudio gave fans a rare last-minute win on June 11 when he took to the mound for the first time in the bottom of the tenth inning to secure a 6-5 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

What to Expect in 2022:

Despite the potential of his deceptively slow fastballs and unique sliders, Claudio didn’t get a chance to go farther than seven months with the Halos bullpen before he was released in late July. He was signed quickly after his release by the Boston Red Sox who offered him a minor league contract. He spent about a month on the Worchester Red Sox minor league team before he was assigned to Puerto Rico’s professional baseball league team, Indios de Mayagüez, where it looks like he will pick up the 2021 season.

2021 Overall Grade: C-