The Angels, hot off their deal with the Astros that netted them righthander Nick Tropeano and catcher Carlos Perez for catcher Hank Conger, spun around and sent righthander Mark Sappington to the Rays for lefthander Cesar Ramos.
Ramos, 30, was teammates with Jered Weaver at Long Beach State. Ramos was a swingman for the Rays and could fill the same role for the Angels. Sappington gives the Rays a young, potentially valuable bullpen arm after he struggled as a starter at Double-A and high Class A.
Mark Sappington, rhp
Sappington was one of the best arms in the Angels' system, but his difficulty repeating his delivery and his struggles to throw strikes never allowed him to reach his potential despite a plus fastball (92-95 mph), average slider and tick below average changeup.
Sappington's emotional, adrenaline-fueled pitching approach and his inconsistent delivery have led scouts to believe that he would be a better fit as a reliever. The Angels moved him to the bullpen not longer after he was demoted to high Class A Inland Empire this season and he did show significant improvement.
Sappington had walked 69 batters in only 82 innings as a starter, but he had much better control once he moved to the pen, walking only 10 and striking out 49 in 32 innings. He is a potential setup man if he can keep put together even fringe-average control thanks to his plus stuff, but that's been a struggle for him throughout his career.
|Inland Empire (CAL)||HiA||3||7||5.76||33||8||5||70||80||50||45||11||43||80||.288|
Cesar Ramos, lhp
Ramos made seven starts for the Rays this season but was most effective out of the bullpen. He’s likely to be used as rotation filler who will get the majority of his innings in middle relief. He was much better against lefties than righties in 2014 (3.24 FIP vs. 4.48 against righthanded hitters). Ramos sits at 90-91 mph, but his plus changeup is a weapon. He could step in to replace Sean Burnett and Joe Thatcher as a bullpen lefty for the Angels.
|Tampa Bay (AL)||MAJ||2||6||3.70||43||7||83||73||39||34||8||39||66||.233|