The Los Angeles Angels optioned Luke Bard to their alternate site today, recalling Patrick Sandoval in his place, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource over at Fangraphs.
Sandoval made his major-league debut last season going 0-4 across 10 appearances (9 starts). His first start of the season came last week in a 10-2 Angels win over the Mariners. Sandoval didn’t get the win as he lasted only 4 innings, though he more than did his part in contributing to the win. Sandoval threw 62 pitches – 40 for strikes – notching 4 strikeouts, walking one, and giving up 2 runs (though only 1 was earned). The 23-year-old southpaw entered the year as the Angels’ #7-ranked prospect per MLB.com, #6 by Fangraphs. The Angels certainly hope/expect the lefty and his 55-grade curveball will establish himself as a rotation mainstay – a role they’ve struggled to consistently fill over the years.
Sandoval made his second start of the season tonight, going six strong innings while allowing two runs. He’s quickly becoming a favorite of manager Joe Maddon. While the plan was for Sandoval to throw between 70-80 pitches, Maddon allowed him to hang around for 94. Sandoval continues to develop nicely after the Angels acquired him from Houston for Martin Maldonado just before the 2018 trade deadline.
Bard, 29, is looking to establish himself as a righty out of Maddon’s pen. Across 32 appearances last season, Bard logged 49 innings with a 4.78 ERA/4.81 FIP, showing off his ability to hold the line for multiple innings at a time if need be. He has just one inning so far this season – it was scoreless. In all likelihood, he’ll find himself back in the Angels’ pen before too long.