Halos recall Morris, Schimpf from Triple-A
Bridwell, Fontana optioned in flurry of moves
ANAHEIM -- The Angels made a flurry of transactions before Saturday night's game against the A's, recalling right-handed reliever Akeel Morris and infielder Ryan Schimpf and optioning right-hander Parker Bridwell and infielder Nolan Fontana to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Adding Morris will provide some cover for the Angels' overtaxed bullpen, which has pitched 15 2/3 innings over the last two games after Tyler Skaggs and Bridwell were both knocked out of their starts early.
"He's an arm that has pitched in the Major Leagues," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has three terrific pitches. Hopefully he'll give us a boost to a bullpen, which has right now been stretched a little bit, obviously, with the last two games."
Morris, who was acquired from the Braves in exchange for a player to be named or cash earlier this week, logged a 3.09 ERA and averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 30 games for Atlanta's Triple-A affiliate in 2017. The 25-year-old has allowed six runs over eight career innings (6.75 ERA) in the Majors.
"It's awesome," said Morris, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands. "I feel like it's a great opportunity. I just want to do everything I can to help the team win ballgames, point blank. And I like red."
Morris made his season debut in Saturday's 7-3 loss to the A's, allowing one run on one hit in 2 1/3 innings with two walks and a strikeout.
The Angels have nine relievers and four starters on the roster, though they will have to expand their rotation later this week. Left-hander Andrew Heaney, who allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Friday, appears well positioned to rejoin the Angels during their upcoming series in Kansas City, though Scioscia said he will need to be evaluated by the club's medical staff and throw a bullpen session before his next step is determined.
Schimpf will replace Fontana as the Angels' utility infielder and can also play both corner outfield spots. A left-handed hitter, Schimpf posted an .809 OPS with 34 home runs over 142 games with the Padres from 2016 to '17.
"One thing [Schimpf's] got is big power," Scioscia said. "He's able to play three infield positions and both corner outfield positions, so we'll see where he works in. But he gives us a lot of depth because of his versatility."
Schimpf, 29, was traded three times over the last four months, bouncing from the Padres to the Rays, and then to the Braves before landing back in Southern California with the Angels, who acquired him from Atlanta in exchange for catcher Carlos Perez last week.
"It's been a little busy, for sure, moving the family around," Schimpf said. "But that comes with the territory. That's how it goes, but I'm excited to be here."
Schimpf pinch-hit for Jefry Marte on Saturday and struck out for the final out of the game.
The Angels also announced that catcher Juan Graterol cleared waivers and was outrighted to Salt Lake's roster. Graterol had been designated for assignment earlier this week.
Ian Kinsler (left adductor strain) took ground balls and hit on the field for the second consecutive day Saturday. Kinsler is eligible to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday during the Angels' series against the Rangers in Arlington.
"We're hopeful we're getting close," Scioscia said. "Right now it's tough to put an end point on it because there's some things he has to do to make sure he's ready."