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OC Register: Angels’ Chase Silseth off to promising start as a reliever

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ST. LOUIS — Chase Silseth has taken quickly to his new role.

“It’s been a blast,” the Angels right-hander said of pitching out of the bullpen. “It’s been really fun.”

Silseth reached the big leagues last year as a starter, less than 12 months after the Angels drafted him. He continued to start in spring training and early in the minor-league season, but necessity led to a change.

The Angels bullpen was taxed last week, leaving them desperate for a reliever who could cover multiple innings. They called up Silseth, who had been scheduled to start at Triple-A the night he got word that there was a change in plans.

Since then, he’s pitched three times in relief, working four scoreless innings.

Manager Phil Nevin used him in the seventh inning to protect a three-run lead against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, and a couple days later he said he’d already seen enough to be comfortable that this is Silseth’s role for the foreseeable future.

The Angels bullpen is short on velocity, and Silseth averages 96.2 mph with his fastball. Nevin and Silseth say there will be even more velocity once he gets more accustomed to a reliever workload.

As a starter, Silseth typically started off throwing hard and getting outs, but he had trouble maintaining either his velocity or his effectiveness after about 50 pitches.

Silseth, 22, admitted that he is a high-energy guy, so he was literally using up too much energy in the dugout between innings. The short bursts of the bullpen might be better for him in that respect too.

Silseth said he’s enjoyed a role in which he can go crank his intensity up quickly and not worry about preserving his energy.

“It’s a different thing, but I’ve done pretty well so far,” he said. “I’ll continue to grow and and learn this role however long I’m in it.”

Silseth said he talked this week with closer Carlos Estévez about how to quickly warm up properly.

For now, because Silseth is built up as a starter, he has extra value to Nevin because he can comfortable work multiple innings.

That was critical on a night like Wednesday.

Nevin said he normally doesn’t like to “chase a game” by using his best relievers when the Angels are behind. That wears them down in a game the Angels may lose anyway, which affects their availability for a game they are leading later.

However, having a pitcher like Silseth, who is far enough down on the reliever depth chart but still reliable, gave Nevin a good choice when he was trying to keep the Angels’ deficit at one run Wednesday. The Angels came back to win in the ninth.

Nevin also sees Silseth as a pitcher who could slot in regularly as his seventh-inning option, pitching just before setup man Matt Moore and Estévez.

“Going forward, I can see him pitching big, late outs,” Nevin said.

Silseth could evolve into the kind of weapon that Chris Rodriguez was early in 2021, before the Angels opted to move him back into the rotation and he got hurt. Rodriguez had a 3.66 ERA as a reliever, often working more than one inning.

There’s still a chance the Angels opt to move Silseth back to starting at some point, which would be OK with him too.

“I’m just staying in the present moment,” he said. “This is my role right now, and whatever role they have in the future, that’s way long in the future. But right now, just to get outs and come in late and keep the score the way it is or whatever, just help the team win whatever way I can.”


Mike Trout was out of the lineup on Thursday, his third full day of the season. Nevin said he wanted to give Trout a day so he could use him for all six games against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros on the upcoming homestand. …

Shortstop Zach Neto returned to action a day after suffering a bruised and lacerated right middle finger when he was trying to bunt. Neto said he woke up feeling good, and he demonstrated in a pregame workout to Nevin that he could throw.


Angels (LHP Tyler Anderson, 1-0, 5.74) vs. Rangers (TBD), 6:38 p.m. Friday, Angel Stadium, Bally Sports West,  830 AM.

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