After in-season deals for Jason Grilli, Joe Thatcher and Huston Street, you might think the Angels’ Extreme Makeover: Bullpen Edition would be over. You’d be wrong. The Halos on Thursday swapped high Class A righthander Mike Clevinger, whom they drafted in the fourth round in 2011, to the Indians for righthander Vinnie Pestano.
Although Pestano will report to Triple-A Salt Lake, he could quickly be summoned to the Angels, who are mired in a battle with the Athletics for the American League West crown.
Mike Clevinger, rhp
Clevinger was part of the Angels’ spelunking of Florida junior colleges—Pat Corbin, Howie Kendrick and Will Smith—spearheaded by scout Tom Kotchman before Casey’s dad left for the Red Sox. The righthander from Seminole State (Fla.) JC was the top starter prospect in the Angels system before needing Tommy John surgery in 2012, but he returned late in 2013. Clevinger was very effective at the start of this season, albeit at 23 and in low Class A, but he’s shown four potential average pitches, including a fastball that sits 91-93 mph. The Indians will start him at high Class A Carolina.
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Vinnie Pestano, rhp
Once a mainstay of the Indians’ bullpen, Pestano has struggled with elbow injuries and command since 2013. He has spent at least parts of the past two seasons in the minors, including the majority of this season. His fastball velocity has dropped a full three miles per hour since his salad days of 2012 (92.6 mph to 89.6), per FanGraphs, although he’s been quite effective at Triple-A Columbus.
Pestano, who is from Newport Beach and attended Cal State Fullerton, will report to Triple-A Salt Lake.