The Angels announced that they’ve signed left-hander Ian Krol to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. Krol, 27 in May, is a client of ISE Baseball.
The 2017 season proved to be a rough followup to a strong 2016 campaign for Krol, as he saw his ERA soar from 3.18 to 5.53. Krol’s K/9 rate fell from 9.9 in ’16 to 8.1 in ’17, while his BB/9 rate ballooned from 2.3 to 3.9. He also allowed eight homers in 49 innings after surrendering just four long balls in 51 frames a year prior.
Though he throws from the left side, Krol has actually struggled more against lefties than righties in each of the past three seasons. In that time, he’s allowed a .253/.336/.420 slash to righties and struggled to a more concerning .292/.369/.426 slash against same-handed opponents.
That said, Krol averages better than 93 mph on his fastball and more than eight strikeouts per nine innings, and he has also shown the ability to generate grounders at a roughly league-average clip over the course of 188 MLB innings thus far in his career. The resulting 4.55 ERA isn’t overly appealing, but a 4.05 xFIP and 3.77 SIERA forecast a somewhat rosier picture.
With the Halos, he’ll compete for a spot in manager Mike Scioscia’s bullpen, where Jose Alvarez currently projects as the only lefty. In fact, the only other southpaws on the Angels’ 40-man roster at all are starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney, meaning Krol landed in a spot that should afford him a decent opportunity to crack the big league roster in Spring Training.