On Sunday, the Angels announced that they’ve selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Ryan Buchter. Right-hander Taylor Cole was designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
The news bodes well for Buchter, who now looks like a good bet to break camp with the Angels. The 33-year-old southpaw was inked to a minor league deal last month as a low-risk flier for the Halos bullpen. He’s been an effective relief option throughout his career, with an overall 4.01 FIP through 214 major league innings.
Despite a pretty sharp 2.98 ERA, 2019 was probably Buchter’s worst year since becoming a full-time big-leaguer in 2016. He walked batters at a career-high rate, and his effectiveness against right-handed batters waned. Still, for an Angels bullpen that previously lacked a left-handed option, Buchter is a sensible choice.
Cole’s stint on Los Angeles' 40-man will end after a frustrating 2019 season that saw the 30-year-old stumble to a 5.92 ERA. He was often deployed as a multi-inning reliever or opener, but he has been squeezed out of that role with an abundance of righties in the Angels bullpen.
If Cole clears waivers, the Angels could assign him outright to the minor leagues, though in that case Cole, could reject that assignment and opt for free agency because he has been outrighted before.
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