The Angels swapped arms in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, acquiring two right-handed pitchers, Alex Meyer and Ricky Nolasco, in exchange for red hot lefty Hector Santiago and righty Alan Busenitz.
Meyer, 26, entered 2016 ranked by Baseball America as the #12 prospect in the Twins organization. Last season, he was named by Baseball America as having the best curveball and fifth best prospect in the Twins organization, as well as having the best fast fastball and breaking pitch in the International League. In 109 career minor league appearances (78 starts), he is 26-22 with a 3.40 ERA (447 IP – 169 ER) and 511 strikeouts.
In two games (one start) for the Twins, Meyer went 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA (3.2 IP – 5 ER). After being optioned back to Rochester on May 4, he was placed on the Red Wings disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Nolasco, 33, is a veteran local fans may know, having previously been a late trade addition to the Dodgers a couple of seasons ago. He has gone 4-8 this season in 21 starts for the Twins, fashioning a 5.13 ERA (124.2 IP – 71 ER) with 93 strikeouts and 29 walks. The right-hander leads Minnesota’s pitching staff in both innings pitched and strikeouts.
Additionally, among pitchers who have made at least 20 starts this season, Nolasco has allowed the fourth fewest walks in the American League, while his 3.21 strikeout per walk ratio ranks 13th. He’s has gone at least six innings in 14 of his 21 starts this season, including a season-high eight innings in his last start against the White Sox where he allowed just one run on three hits.
A Corona, CA native, Nolasco was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round if the 2001 draft. Over the course of his 11-year career with the Marlins, Dodgers and Twins, he’s amassed a 104-97 record with a 4.58 ERA (1633.2 IP – 832 ER) in 286 games. Since the start of the 2006 season, his 3.41 SO/BB ratio ranks 10th in the Majors (min. 1500 IP), trailing Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, David Price, Cole Hamels and CC Sabathia.
Santiago, 28, made 22 starts for the Angels this season, going 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA (120.2 IP – 57 ER). In his last nine starts, he went 7-0 with a 2.52 ERA (53.2 IP – 15 ER).
The left-hander appeared in 85 total games (78 starts) for the Angels across the last three seasons, going 25-22 with a 3.82 ERA (428.2 IP – 182 ER). In his six Major League seasons, he has gone 33-32 with four saves and a 3.68 ERA (653.1 IP – 267 ER) in 163 games for the White Sox and Angels.
Busenitz, 25, has pitched in 34 total games this season between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake, going 0-2 with three saves and a 3.55 ERA (45.2 IP – 18 ER). In his 24 games with the Travelers, he pitched to a 1.93 ERA (32.2 IP – 7 ER). The Watkinsville, GA native was originally drafted by the Angels in the 25th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services