The Angels announced Tuesday evening that right-handed reliever Jacob Rhame has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to the team’s alternate training site. He’ll remain with the organization and in the 60-man player pool, but he’ll no longer occupy a spot on the club’s 40-man roster.
The Halos claimed Rhame, 27, off waivers from the Mets earlier this month. The hard-throwing righty has struggled in parts of three seasons with the Mets but boasts a heater that averages 95.8 mph, elite spin rates on his heater and curveball, and impressive swinging-strike and opponents’ chase rates. The bottom-line results for Rhame have been poor — a 6.23 ERA in 47 2/3 MLB frames — but his raw abilities to spin the ball, generate velocity and miss bats appealed to Angels GM Billy Eppler and his staff. Rhame had ulnar nerve transposition surgery last August but he’d progressed to throwing off a mound by the time the Angels claimed him.
The Angels have had some luck in converting low-cost, low-risk bullpen pickups in recent years. Closer Hansel Robles came to the club via waiver claim (also out of the Mets organization), and they’ve had success with bargain pickups of veterans like Jim Johnson, Bud Norris, David Hernandez, Blake Parker and Yusmeiro Petit over the past few seasons. Because Rhame has been passed through waivers, he won’t be given an opportunity to join that line of successful reclamation projects, but with the depth that’ll be required to get through this year’s 60-game sprint, it’s conceivable that he’ll get another look in the big leagues before the end of September.