The Los Angeles Angels placed relief pitcher Ty Buttrey on the restricted list Friday after the right-hander refused to report to the alternate training site.
“He’s chosen to walk away from the game for right now,” manager Joe Maddon said Friday afternoon. “Just want to honor his wishes, and let’s see what happens down the road. But for now, that’s where we’re at with Ty.”
Buttrey was optioned on Sunday as part of the restructuring of the Angels bullpen, in which seven of the eight pitchers weren’t with the team last season. On Monday, the Angels traded for right-hander James Hoyt, who was optioned, and signed veterans Steve Cishek and Tony Watson to one-year deals.
“When we did talk to [Buttrey] when he left the office, there was no indicator at all this was something that he would choose to do,” Maddon said. “Anything that happened after that, I have not been a part of that conversation.
“There’s a lot to like about this guy, both as a person and a player. So we’ll see what happens, and I’ll try to be there for him as an ear, too.”
Buttrey led the Angels with 72 relief appearances in 2019, and was second on the team last year, pitching in 27 of the team’s 60 games. He also struggled in 2020, posting a 5.81 ERA and 4.94 FIP in 26⅔ innings, with a strikeout rate that plummeted from 27.2 percent to 16.1 percent.
This spring, Buttrey allowed five runs (three earned) in seven innings, posting a 3.86 ERA with four walks, seven strikeouts, and a 19.4-percent strikeout rate.
Being on the restricted list means Buttrey, who has two years, 46 days of major league service time and two option years remaining, doesn’t count against the Angels’ 40-man roster for now.