The Angels, seeking lefthanded relief and continuing their bullpen upgrade in general, acquired lefty Joe Thatcher and speedy minor league outfielder Tony Campana from the Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Zach Borenstein, their ninth-rated prospect entering the season, and righthanded reliever Joey Krehbiel, who was rated 23rd in the system on Opening Day.
The Angels, who swapped Ernesto Frieri to the Pirates for Jason Grilli two weeks ago, get a much-needed lefty for the ‘pen. To date, just 17 of their 246 1/3 reliever innings have been thrown by lefthanders. Campana, 28, is not expected to join the Angels, but could be called up in September.
Zach Borenstein, of
Bats: L. Throws: R.
Borenstein, who turns 24 on July 23, was the Angels’ minor league player of the year in 2013 after hitting .337 with 28 homers, 95 RBI and a 1.034 OPS at high Class A Inland Empire. This season at Triple-a Salt Lake and Double-A Arkansas, he was hitting .262/.316/.402, but was showed much more power (.440 slugging) at Double-A. He hit .256/.279/.342 in the PCL, where he spent all of June. The lefthanded hitter’s carrying tool is power, although that clearly did not play at Triple-A. He has solid bat speed and quick hands, but appears to be guessing on pitches at time. He appeared overmatched in that department at Salt Lake, with a 33/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’ll play at Double-A Mobile.
Joey Krehbiel, rhp
Krehbiel, a 2011, 12th-round pick from Seminole (Fla.) High—where Casey Kotchman, the son of his signing scout Tom Kotchman, played—was originally set to be a third baseman but has only pitched as a pro. This season at low Class A Burlington and high Class A Inland Empire, he had five saves and 23 strikeouts in 18 innings. He had largely been used as a set-up reliever prior to this season with mixed results, but was averaging more than a strikeout per inning thanks to a 91-93 fastball he throws from a low third-quarters slot that makes him a rough at-bat against righthanders. He was assigned to high Class A Visalia.
Joe Thatcher, lhp
Service time (preseason): 5.068.
Thatcher joins what is now a revamped Angels bullpen, which in the past two weeks also saw Grilli come in and Frieri leave while Rich Hill was purchased from Boston. BA correspondent Mike DiGiovanna speculated that Hill would be designated for assignment with Thatcher’s acquisition. Thatcher this season is 1-0, 2.63 with a 25/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Most importantly for the Angels, lefthanders are hitting .241 this season against Thatcher, whose fastball sits about 86, but whose sidearm delivery makes him an uncomfortable at-bats for lefties. He’s a free agent after the season.
Tony Campana, of
Service time (preseason): 1.155.
The speedy Campana, a 13th-round pick of the Cubs in 2008 from the University of Cincinnati after spending his first two college seasons at UNC Asheville, caused a stir in 2011-12 at Wrigley when he stole a combined 54 bases over the two seasons while he was caught only five times. Campana, however, possesses no power although he does a decent job of getting on base. At this point, he could be a useful pinch-runner, especially in the pennant race in September.