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2021 Angels Player Review: Jaime Barría

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Barría’s up and down year highlights some promise and need for improvement

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The twenty-five year old righty from Panama City, Jaime Barría pitched for the Angels for the fourth consecutive season in 2021. He initially signed with the Angels for $60,000 as an international free agent back in 2013. He started the year in the bullpen and made two relief appearances before becoming a mainstay in the rotation. Barría had an up and down 2021 campaign that ended abruptly with a shoulder injury.

He was recalled from the Angels Alternate Training Site on April 10th before being optioned two days back two days later and for the rest of the season pitched with the Major League club while being optioned three times to and from the AAA Salt Lake Bees.

Barría was noticeably better at home, posting a 2.78 ERA in 32.1 IP versus a 7.03 ERA on the road in 24.1 IP. His splits against righties (145 AB) and lefties (83 AB) are relatively the same barring sample size, with righties posting a .303/ .363/ .476 slash line and lefties .313/ .367/ .470.

One of Barría’s biggest struggles this year was the first inning. Taking away his relief performances he had a 3.91 ERA, and taking away his ERA after the first inning would make it 2.50. In the eleven first innings within games he started, he gave up 11 earned runs.

When best effective he would settle in and when he couldn’t, or his pitch count got too inflated, it was an early entrance by the bullpen. In his last start of the season, Barría was removed after just 2.0 innings of work with what was initially labeled as arm fatigue, that turned into a 10 day IL stint and a right shoulder impingement. With the shoulder issue and IL designation, his 2021 season was over and Sam Selman was recalled to fill his roster spot.

2021 Stats:

2 Wins / 4 Losses / 4.61 ERA / 13 Games / 11 Games Started / 56.2 Innings Pitched / 35 Strikeouts / 19 Walks / 1.571 WHIP / .9 WAR / 70 Hits Allowed / 29 Runs Allowed / 8 Home Runs Allowed

Best Performance of the Year:

Final Win of the Season

Barría’s best performance this year came against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday July 31st in a tight 1-0 win at home. He went 6.2 innings pitched allowing just 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and no runs on 95 pitches for a game score of 68.0. This was his second and final win of the season, the start after his first win of the season in Minnesota.

What to Expect in 2022:

Barria’s future with the club is uncertain if he will fulfill a starting or bullpen role in the upcoming season. With the lockout in place, the remainder of moves the Angels will make are uncertain so the rotation they will field in 2022 is not finalized. Barría is set to be a factor in the 2022 pitching staff, and likely in a relief role with the offseason acquisitions the Angels have made so far and with those that they could be poised to make after the lockout. He has experience as both a starter and reliever but with the current state of the roster and his past pitching performance being not quite good enough to guarantee him a spot in the rotation, he could become a fixed piece in the bullpen or warrant consideration to start if they are in need. With Barría still being under team control with his contract in pre-arbitration, he will likely go back to being a reliever, but the final plans will be known once next season begins.

2021 Overall Grade: C-