The Angels acquired reliever Ernesto Frieri from the San Diego Padres on… (Denis Poroy / Getty Images )
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto made a move Thursday to improve the team’s shaky bullpen, acquiring right-hander Ernesto Frieri from the San Diego Padres for minor league utility player Alexi Amarista and pitcher Donn Roach.
Frieri, who will join the Angels Friday, usually pitched in the sixth and seventh innings for the Padres, going 3-3 with a 2.33 earned-run average in 105 games over the last four seasons. The 26-year-old struck out 137 and walked 56 in 108 innings and has what Dipoto calls a lively 93-mph fastball.
“He’s deceptive and has a history of missing bats,” Dipoto said. “He has what I call a ‘magic’ fastball. It cuts, it runs, it sinks — it moves in different directions and is hard to hit.”
Angels relievers haven’t missed many bats, combining for an 0-6 record and 5.08 ERA and blowing six of their first seven save opportunities. Veteran left-hander Scott Downs, who replaced struggling right-hander Jordan Walden as the team’s closer last week, has been the only consistently effective bullpen arm.
Frieri may not have the stuff of a potential closer, but with Walden, Kevin Jepsen, Jason Isringhausen, Hisanori Takahashi and David Carpenter providing little help and setup man LaTroy Hawkins hardly in lockdown mode, Frieri could seize a seventh- or eighth-inning role with the Angels.
“It doesn’t change the world, but it helps change our club,” Dipoto said. “He gives us another experienced and effective arm, and he could be a cost-effective part of the solution.”
Amarista, 23, played 23 games with the Angels in 2011 and was hitting .273 with six doubles and 12 runs batted in for triple-A Salt Lake this season. He has decent power and can play three infield and three outfield positions.
Roach, 22, was a third-round pick in 2010 who compiled a 5-0 record and 2.16 ERA in his first six starts for Class-A Inland Empire this season.
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