The Angels have gone and acquired themselves some last-minute pitching depth, signing Mat Latos off the scrap heap that is late September’s free-agent class.
Latos was a very good pitcher as recently as last season but he’s struggled in 2015, pitching his way off the Marlins and Dodgers. Compounding the poor numbers on the moundâ4.95 ERA in 112â IPâwas and is a poor reputation in the clubhouse. As his ERA went up, the patience for his attitude reportedly went down. Funny how that works.
It’s unclear how the Angels plan on using Latos over the final week of the season, but both the bullpen and rotation seem to be in play. With Joe Smith and Huston Street out indefinitely, the team needs an arm to eat up relief innings so that Mike Morin, Trevor Gott, Fernando Salas, and Jose Alvarez don’t all have their arms fall off as October begins. And with Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker both nursing sore arms, the possibility of Latos making one of the team’s final seven starts also appears to be an option.
Why the Angels decided they needed to sign Latos rather than call up Drew Rucinski I don’t know. Both last started a game three weeks ago, with Rucinski actually pitching well. And if the Angels end up making the postseason, at least they can hang onto Rucinski. Who do they put on the playoff roster in Latos’ stead if the injured pitchers can’t come back? Rucinski, right? So why not get him loose now?
ButÂ that’s getting ahead of things. It seems unlikely that Latos can single-handedly dismantle the clubhouse atmosphere in such a short amount of time, but he could potentially demolish the Angels’ playoff hopes with one pitch. Let’s hope he sees only low-leverage innings, if any.