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OC Register: Prospects Jose Suarez, Luis Madero and Luis Rengifo added to Angels’ 40-man roster


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The Angels added starting pitchers José Suarez and Luis Madero and infielder Luis Rengifo to their 40-man roster, designating pitcher Parker Bridwell and infielder José Fernández for assignment.

Tuesday was the deadline for teams to add players from their minor league system to the 40-man roster, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. The Angels have filled all 40 spots.

One of the somewhat surprising omissions is first baseman/outfielder Jared Walsh, who General Manager Billy Eppler had identified as a player he hoped could contribute to the major league team in 2019.

Eppler said the decisions of who they would protect this year were tougher than in any of his previous three years.

“It’s a sign that things (with the depth of the farm system) are going in an upward direction,” Eppler said. “It might even be more difficult in future years.”

Rengifo, 21, also figures into that mix, after playing at three levels of the Angels’ farm system in 2018, combining for a .299 average and a .399 on-base percentage. Rengifo is expected to go into spring training with a chance to win an everyday job at second base.

Suarez, 20, is also expected to pitch in the majors sometime in 2019, after posting a 3.92 ERA with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings at three levels of the Angels’ system.

Madero, 21, is a bit of a surprise addition to the roster, because he hasn’t pitched above Class-A and has not been highly rated as a prospect. His velocity jumped to around 94 mph over the summer and the Angels believe he can be an impactful pitcher.

Acquired in the David Hernandez trade in 2017, Madero had a 3.49 ERA this season. Over his last six starts, in the hitter-friendly California League, he posted a 1.80 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 30 innings.

Bridwell, 27, pitched in just five games in the majors last season with the Angels, battling elbow issues for most of the year. He was a revelation in 2017, posting a 3.64 ERA in 121 major league innings.

Fernández, 30, hit .267 with a .309 on-base percentage in 116 at-bats in the majors last season, mostly playing first base. It was the first big-league season for Fernández, who had defected from Cuba.

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50 minutes ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

I dont know about this kind of stuff. But does that mean renigfo is closer to being called up?

The Angels have had discussions about potentially having Rengifo skip over any further minor league experience and start at 2B for the Angels. It's not a bad idea on the surface. His plate discipline is as good as you'll see from any prospect, combined with his speed make him a very ideal leadoff hitter. You know he'd get a lot of pitches to hit batting in front if Trout. And while he's mediocre defensively at SS, most reports have him grading out as a borderline "plus" defender at 2B. 

But I consider this a long shot. He didn't look nearly as good in AAA as he did at the other two levels (though not bad either), he'd have to beat out Fletcher and potentially Cozart if they get a third baseman, and the Angels may want to keep 2B open for Jahmai Jones eventual arrival either later this year or early next year.  It'll be very interesting to see what happens. 

My best guess is we'll see a steady diet of Cozart and Fletcher at 2B this year, at least until Rengifo forces their hand, before which he'll be logging some playing time at 3B in AAA. Rengifo will prove to be too good to keep down or on the bench, so he'll transition to 3B while Jahmai Jones will break out in a huge way and I'll start at 2B in 2020 and be overwhelmingly exciting given his 20/20 potential. 

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58 minutes ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

I dont know about this kind of stuff. But does that mean renigfo is closer to being called up?

He will be called up this season in all likelihood.

On the off chance the Angels make a decision to move Cozart (and they find a willing buyer), Fletcher could start at 2B and then Luis could be called up later in the season to get some service time as a backup or in the event of an injury a full-time role for a spell.

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I was also surprised they didn’t protect Walsh, but they spend a lot of time on this stuff. And remember, it’s not just who is the best player, but who is more likely to get taken in the Rule 5.

Its a lot easier to stash a pitcher than a position player on your roster all year, so if it’s close between Walsh and Madero, you protect Madero.

 

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I don't know if this is indicative of any trade brewing or potential moves. I'm guessing Eppler is comfortable picking up a part time first baseman if he ended for cheap, or he's confident in either Thaiss or Walsh coming in and producing if given the opportunity. Walsh isn't exactly a darling among scouts despite the numbers. Someone might take him or they might not. I still think that he'll eventually be a two-way player in the major leagues that serves as depth off the bench and on the mound. 

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Also bear in mind it’s Nov 21.

Every player they add between now and opening day is going to knock one of those 40 off the roster. 

The rule 5 draft isn’t even until Dec 13, so some will come off before then. 

Also remember, there is much much much higher chance of losing a player by DFAing him than by leaving him unprotected. There are about 12 guys a year taken in the Rule 5.

And maybe half of them go back to their original teams anyway.

Edited by Jeff Fletcher
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I really really really want to be positive about this and give Eppler credit for a big picture plan to improve the ML club that is clearly not apparent to me right now, but damn im finding it difficult.
There's always a lot of moving pieces this time of year, i get that, im just unclear how risking losing 2 guys that were in the mix at the ML level over guys that probably weren't or maybe never would be addresses that need. 
They could be planning to bring them back, or go other directions, I guess well see soon enough.  It just seems like a heck of a gamble.

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58 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

WTH do they see in BlashTrash and his ridiculously awkward swing??????????? 

To paraphrase Chris Jericho, BlashTrash has neverrrr, eeeeever hit at the MLB level.

Just throwing this out there:

 

In the last three years, there are only three players that have had a Top 30 BB% rate in the Pacific Coast League:

1) Daniel Vogelbach

2) Danny Muno

and 3) Jabari Blash

 

Just sayin' that's all.... just sayin' :D

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Blash is perpetually one adjustment away from breaking out and turning into a "clean" Josh Hamilton. And I believe he'll likely always remain one adjustment away. There were flashes of brilliance in San Diego, wh r his offense would carry a lineup, and they'd be surrounded by weeks of nothing. 

I at least understand Blash's presence. I'm not optimistic anything will come of it, but I get it. 

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Blash makes sense until we sign a different veteran OF to a major league contract, right now he's the primary backup in RF.

He, Hermosillo, and Bourjos are the AAA OF along with the 4th OF in the majors. Along with Walsh and Rymer Liriano, I suppose.

Cowart is right now the only player they have that can reliably play 1B, besides Pujols and Calhoun.

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