Aug. 29: Slegers has elected free agency, per a team announcement. He was eligible to do so because he had been previously outrighted in his career.
Aug. 28: The Angels announced that right-hander Aaron Slegers has been outrighted to Triple-A, and that righty Kyle Tyler’s contract has been selected from Triple-A. Roster space was created last night, when right-hander Cooper Criswell was optioned back to Triple-A following his big league debut.
Tyler is now in line for his first MLB game, after three seasons in the Angels’ farm system since being a 20th-round pick in the 2018 draft. The 2021 season saw the righty pitch beyond the high-A level for the first time, as he delivered a 3.38 ERA over 72 innings of Double-A ball and then a 5.14 ERA over 14 innings at Triple-A. That latter statistic is perhaps a bit misleading, as Tyler was crushed for seven runs over two innings in his very first Triple-A outing, but he has allowed just one run in 12 subsequent frames of work.
Baseball America ranked Tyler 28th on their midseason list of the Angels’ top prospects, praising the “tremendous natural cut and ride” on his fastball. This is his only plus offering, however, so Tyler’s chances at becoming a starter at the MLB level could hinge on the development of his secondary pitches. Tyler has started 14 of his 20 games in the minors this year, so the Halos could give him a look as a regular starter, a reliever, or perhaps a combination of both roles (i.e. swingman or bulk pitcher). Since Patrick Sandoval will miss the rest of the season, Anaheim will have some room in the rotation to audition Tyler and other younger arms in the organization.
The Angels acquired Slegers in a trade with the Rays last February, and the righty’s first season in L.A. has been a tough one. Slegers has a 6.97 ERA over 31 relief innings, with only a 16.8% strikeout rate. While he has a career-best 57.9% grounder rate, Slegers has also been hurt badly by the long ball, with six home runs allowed for a 23.1% home rate. The 31 innings represents a new career high for Slegers, who tossed 58 total innings while appearing in each of the last four seasons (2017-18 with the Twins and 2019-20 with the Rays).