1:55pm: Rivera’s going to the DL with knee inflammation, per Fletcher, who adds that the Angels have transferred reliever Keynan Middleton to the 60-day DL to open up a 40-man spot for Briceno. Middleton’s set to undergo Tommy John surgery.
1:15pm: The Angels have selected catcher Jose Briceno from Triple-A, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group was among those to report. With the Angels’ 40-man roster already at capacity, they’ll need to make a corresponding move to create room for Briceno.
Briceno is now in his third season with the Angels organization, which acquired him from the Braves in the teams’ 2015 trade centering on Andrelton Simmons and Sean Newcomb. The 25-year-old Briceno hasn’t posed a significant offensive threat in the minors since then, evidenced in part by his .261/.272/.500 line (88 wRC+) in 92 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this season. The Venezuela native does carry some defensive promise, however, as FanGraphs prospect expert Kiley McDaniel wrote back in 2014 that Briceno’s “athleticism and tools are there to stick behind the plate and the arm is plus.” Moreover, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America adds that Briceno has “showed himself to be a superb defender” since joining the Halos.
It’s unclear at the moment what Briceno’s promotion means for the rest of the Angels’ roster. They already look to be in good shape behind the plate, where Martin Maldonado and Rene Rivera have opened the season with a .255/.328/.389 line (101 wRC+) in 175 PAs. Although, Maldonado’s normally excellent defense has taken steps backward this year, per Baseball Prospectus.