The Angels announced a trade with the Brewers today, acquiring right-hander Nash Walters in exchange for cash considerations. Walters has been selected to the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. To make room on the roster, left-hander Jhonathan Diaz was recalled from Salt Lake and placed on the 60-day injured list. Walters was eligible to be traded after the deadline because he had not been on a 40-man roster or been on the Major League injured list all year.
Walters, 25, lands on an MLB roster for the first time, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. He was a third-round selection of the Brewers, getting scooped up 90th overall in 2015 out of Lindale High School in Lindale, Texas. After getting drafted, he pitched in rookie ball in 2015 and again in 2016, but he had his progress paused by Tommy John surgery in 2017. He returned to the mound in 2019, throwing 50 1/3 innings in rookie ball, but then the pandemic wiped out the 2020 season for minor leaguers.
Last year, Walters was able to throw 60 1/3 innings out of the bullpen of the High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He put up a 4.33 ERA along with a 29.9% strikeout rate and 41.3% ground ball rate. The 10.6% walk rate was definitely on the high side, though it was an improvement over his rookie ball days. Here in 2022, he’s split his time between Double-A and Triple-A, throwing 48 1/3 innings with a 4.47 ERA, 32.2% strikeout rate and 7.3% walk rate. A 62.3% strand rate is likely making that ERA look worse than it should be, given that the MLB league average is 72.4%.
As for Diaz, 25, he’s been optioned and recalled for much of the season, splitting his time between the Angels and the Bees. He last pitched in Triple-A on July 16. He has a 2.93 ERA this year in 15 1/3 MLB innings and a 4.98 ERA in 47 Triple-A innings.