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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Angels Acquire RHP Bret Prinz For C Wil Nieves

Halofan notes without attribution an event nearly as rare as the Red Sox beating the Yankees in the ALCS: Bill Stoneman made a trade, this time of journeyman reliever Bret Prinz for journeyman catcher Wil Nieves. On the surface, this isn't anything to write home about, but in fact, it says something fairly important about the Angels minor league system at this point in time. Over the course of the past three seasons, the Angels have been able to draw on their minors for all the relief pitching they needed. That appears to be no longer true. Looking at the 40-man roster, we see the names Tim Bittner, Matt Hensley and Dustin Moseley, all of whom have been demoted to the minor league camp. Hensley has been tried and found wanting, Moseley the Angels would likely want to keep as a starter, and Bittner hasn't pitched above AA.

Meaning, the Angels were looking for bullpen help when the season began and nobody pitched themselves onto the big club. It's questionable whether the Prinz represents anything other than mopup innings:

Season    ERA    IP    K   BB    K/9  K/BB
==========================================
2004      5.08  28.1  22   14   6.99  1.57
2005 ST   8.44   5.1   6    5  10.13  1.20

Which is to say, the kid can throw strikes, but he can also walk guys; his career K/BB ratio is 1.32. I tend to agree with Halofan on this one, he's going to see action, but it won't be in close games in the eighth.


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