The Angels announced they’ve selected veteran reliever AJ Ramos to the big league roster and recalled bullpen mate James Hoyt from Triple-A Salt Lake. José Marte and Sam Selman were optioned to clear active roster space. Los Angeles also reinstated rookie southpaw Reid Detmers from the COVID-19 injured list and optioned him to Salt Lake.
Ramos is in the majors for the first time this season. He’s best known for his early-career days with the Marlins, with whom he began his big league career in 2012. The right-hander was electric from essentially the outset of his career, ascending to the closer’s role within a couple seasons and earning an All-Star nod in 2016. Over his first four-plus MLB seasons, Ramos posted a 2.66 ERA/3.15 FIP across 287 2/3 innings of relief.
Halfway through the 2017 season, Miami traded Ramos to the division-rival Mets. He had a decent year but fell off a bit from his previous pace. Ramos struggled badly through the first couple months of 2018 before it was revealed he’d suffered a labrum tear in his shoulder that necessitated surgery.
That procedure kept Ramos out of action for more than two calendar years. He began a comeback attempt in 2020 and landed successive minor league deals with the Dodgers and Cubs. While neither of those stops resulted in a major league opportunity, Ramos did get back to the bigs late in the year with the Rockies. He made three appearances with Colorado last September, his first MLB action in 28 months, and signed a minor league deal with the Angels over the offseason.
Ramos has spent the entire season with Salt Lake. The 35-year-old has avoided the injured list and logged 53 innings over 42 outings, pitching to a 5.26 ERA in a very hitter-friendly environment. Ramos has been extremely fly ball prone and has issued a few too many walks, but he’s continued to miss plenty of bats. He’s punched out 31% of opposing hitters on the strength of a big 15.4% swinging strike rate, and the Angels will give him a late chance to demonstrate his form against big league opponents.
As with last season’s stint in Colorado, it’s possible Ramos’ stay with the Angels will be quite brief. He’s scheduled to hit free agency again at the end of the season. The late-season look will allow him to showcase his current caliber of stuff before he reaches the open market.
The IL transfers officially bring Upton’s and Bundy’s seasons to a close. It was a third consecutive down year for Upton, who hit .211/.296/.409 with seventeen homers over 362 plate appearances. His campaign ends prematurely because of a right lumbar strain.
Upton will return to Anaheim next season on a $28MM salary, the final year of his deal. The Angels have youngsters Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh at the big league level, and Mike Trout is expected back at full strength. It’s possible Upton’s role is curtailed a bit moving forward, although he still brings enough right-handed pop to contribute in a part-time capacity.
It’s an especially disappointing end for Bundy, who expressed confidence two weeks ago that he’d make it back to the mound before the end of the year. Instead, his final five weeks will be wiped out by a shoulder strain. It ends a season in which Bundy threw 90 2/3 innings of 6.08 ERA ball, a massive drop-off from a 2020 season in which he picked up some down-ballot Cy Young support.
The career-worst showing couldn’t have come at a worse time for Bundy, who’ll hit free agency for the first time this winter. It’s possible the 28-year-old will be limited to a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild his value before re-testing the market during the 2022-23 offseason.