The Angels bullpen has blown as many leads as any team in the American League so far this season. Perhaps in a well reasoned panic move, Los Angeles General Manager Jerry Dipoto chose to act quickly and acquire a dependable late inning reliever in Ernesto Frieri. The Columbian born Frieri was utterly dominant in parts of four seasons with the San Diego Padres, compiling a 2.33 ERA across 108.1 IP with 137 K’s and a 1.23 WHIP. Ernesto features a 91-94 mph diving fastball and a decent slider that he uses effectively against both RHB and LHB. Frieri is expected to arrive in Anaheim (a mere hour and a half drive) on Friday and inherit the all-important 8th inning role immediately.
In return the Padres will receive 23 year old super utility man Alexi Amarista and 22 year old RHP Donn Roach from the Angels. The Venezuelan born Amarista plays a competent second base, shortstop, left field, centerfield and right field. Amarista’s minor league numbers are rather impressive (.313/.370) and he figures to take over as the everyday second baseman or shortstop very soon. Amarista’s best tools are his ability to hit for average and steal bases and may or may not be suited for the top of a major league lineup depending on how he adjusts to major league pitching. Donn Roach is sinker baller in Advanced A Ball with pinpoint accuracy and an array of offspeed pitches. Across six starts this season Roach is 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 29 K’s in 41 IP.
This move figures to help both teams now and in the future. The Padres are in rebuilding mode and are in need of some top of the order production which Amarista can provide. The Angels were in desperate need of a shutdown reliever to bridge the gap between the starters and closer Scott Downs.