Angels Reach End Of The Line With Reckling
Lefthander Trevor Reckling's rapid rise and fall as a prospect came to a thudding conclusion in early May.
Reckling was the Angels' minor league pitcher of the year in 2009 and ranked as high as No. 4 on the organization's prospect list in 2009 and '10. But the Angels finally released him after he opened the season with a dreadful performance at high Class A Inland Empire: 18.90 ERA, 15 walks, six hits and five hit batsmen in just 62⁄3 innings.
"Unfortunately, as prospect status goes, three or four years is an eternity," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "Trevor was to the point—without getting hypercritical of a young player—where his ability to get the ball even near the strike zone was so diminished and his velocity had regressed so much that it just wasn't viable to continue down that path."
Reckling, who released just short of his 23rd birthday, was an eighth-round pick in 2007 out of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J, who rose quickly through the minor league ranks, part of a domino effect in an organization whose young pitching stock was depleted by the sudden death of Nick Adenhart in April 2009 and subsequent trades that sent six young pitchers (including Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin) out of the system.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Reckling went 10-7, 3.37 at low Class A Cedar Rapids in 2008, then moved quickly from the high Class A California League to Double-A Arkansas in 2009, when he was the youngest player in the Texas League. He went 8-7, 2.93 in 135 innings for Arkansas with 106 strikeouts but also led the league with 75 walks, and many evaluators never saw as much potential as the Angels did.
Reckling's poor control was exposed in Triple-A in 2010 (4-7, 8.53 with 99 hits allowed and 50 walks in 70 innings) and the regression began. His 2011 season in Double-A was marred by elbow problems as he tried to smooth out his delivery.
This spring, he was back in high Class A, where his velocity was in the low to mid-80s and he couldn't find the strike zone. He was released after four appearances (two starts).
• Catcher Hank Conger began the initial phases of a throwing program at the Angels complex in Tempe, Ariz. Conger went on the Triple-A Salt Lake disabled list with an elbow injury in late April. The Angels expected him to return to action by the end of May.
• The Angels signed former Mariners righthanded reliever Sean White to a minor league contract in early May. White, 31, was 4-4, 4.16 with one save in 105 big league appearances over three seasons with the Mariners. He was assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake.