New Angels Signings Bring Infield and Pitching Depth

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In the past few days, the Los Angeles Angels have made several roster moves designed to improve the club in 2022. The front office is bringing in veteran infielder Matt Duffy and relief pitchers Archie Bradley and Ryan Tepera. These additions will help the team add some depth to the infield and pitching staff.

Matt Duffy Brings Consistency

Duffy has been a consistent player during his MLB career. Somewhat of a journeyman, the infielder has spent time on three teams (Giants, Rays, and Cubs) in seven seasons. His best season was in 2015 with the Giants, where he game in second for Rookie of the Year voting. He batted .295 with 12 home runs and 77 runs batted in. He has been very consistent at hitting the ball in play with a career batting average of .283. Defensively, he can play multiple positions including second base, third base, and shortstop.

Fangraphs has Duffy projected to start at second base, fitting a role the Angels needed. He adds experience to the young Angels starting lineup. The one downside is his addition makes the starting lineup very right-handed heavy. The Yankees have suffered in recent years thanks to a predominantly right-handed, power-hitting lineup, and the Angels are incurring the same risk. However, Angels batters tend to hit for average, perhaps creating a critical difference.

Additions in the Bullpen

Ryan Tepera and Archie Bradley are two key additions to the bullpen that will solidify the pieces that the club already has in place. The move adds two veteran relievers that will help win close games.

Tepera, 34, is a right-handed reliever who has been in the league for six years. Before the Angels, he was on the Blue Jays, Cubs, and White Sox. His best season was 2021, when he split his time with the Cubs and White Sox. He posted a 2.79 earned run average in 65 appearances with 74 strikeouts. His best pitches are his cutter and fastball while mixing in a splitter and sinker. This combination leads to a lot of ground ball-outs. According to Fangraphs, last year 44 percent of his outs came via the ground balls. He will never be a guy that will be relied on in the ninth inning to win a game, but he is a valuable pitcher to get outs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.

Bradley, 29, a first-round pick in the 2011 amateur draft, has been a consistent reliever in the league since coming into the bigs in 2015. He has played for three teams, including the Diamondbacks, Reds, and Phillies. As of recent years, he has been a trade asset for playoff teams which adds to his value for this Angels squad.

His best statistical season came in 2018 when he posted a 1.73 earned run average in 63 appearances with 79 strikeouts compared to 20 walks. His primary pitch is his four-seam fastball then mixes in the off-speed pitches of his sinker, curveball, and changeup. His fastball is slightly above average at 94 mph which allows him to generate some strikeouts. But his main way to get batters out is with his sinker to generate groundballs. According to Fangraphs, his groundball percentage in the 2021 season was 56 percent mainly because of that sinker.

Overall, these two pitching additions will help create a bridge to closer Raisel Iglesias in close game situations. There is still some time before the regular season, so it should be interesting to see if the Angels pursue another starting pitcher. With the Reds and Athletics trading away big-name players, it it is possible the Angels can go after their starters to solidify the rotation. With these three signings, the Angels have made helpful steps to improve their roster.

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Justin Oosterwyk has been a writer for Overtime Heroics for the past year. He has been focusing on the Los Angeles Angels but has also written other Major League baseball articles. His favorite team is the New York Yankees, and his favorite player of all time is Mark Teixeira.