Angels Call Up Top Prospect to Join Bullpen

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Updated: May 6, 2017

The Angels pieced together bullpen just got a little better as the team has decided to call up top prospect Keynan Middleton. They decided it’s time to get a good look at the hard-throwing relief pitcher, and maybe he could even offer the team some late inning help.

According to Maria Guardado, Middleton had this to say about his promotion to the MLB. “It’s been pretty crazy,” said Middleton, the Angels’ No. 5 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. “Just got a lot of emotions going through me right now. Just can’t wait to get out there and play.”

He got his first taste of Major League action on Friday against Houston. He pitched one inning, allowing one earned run on two hits, and recorded his first career strikeout. The 23-year-old received the call about the promotion late Thursday, and had to fly to Los Angeles Friday morning.

“I’ve been here for a while, settling down,” Middleton said before the game. “I didn’t have anything ready. I don’t have any red stuff.”

Middleton was drafted in the 3rd round by the Angels in the 2013 draft. He was drafted as a starting pitcher, but was converted into a relief pitcher in 2016. He pitched in ten games in Triple-A Reno this season. He posted a 2.84 ERA with eight strikeouts and two saves in those ten appearances.

“Keynan is a kid that came into spring with high expectations and really never found himself in Spring Training,” manager Mike Scioscia said before his debut. “He never really got comfortable on the mound. He worked hard on a lot of things, but he made some adjustments the last couple of weeks down there, and you saw the stuff re-emerge. This guy’s got a big arm. We feel he’s ready for the challenge. There’s always a little bit of seasoning that goes into a young pitcher getting where he needs to be, but we’re ready to start the process.”

The Angels hope that Middleton can give the bullpen a boost. They currently have most of their late inning options on the disabled list, and want Middleton to hopefully turn into a late inning weapon for them.

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