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Angels claim lefty reliever Quijada, DFA Markel

@RhettBollinger
February 10, 2020

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels appeared set to head to camp without any left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster, but that changed on Monday, when they claimed lefty José Quijada from the Marlins and designated right-handed reliever Parker Markel for assignment. Quijada, 24, posted a 5.76 ERA with 44 strikeouts,

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels appeared set to head to camp without any left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster, but that changed on Monday, when they claimed lefty José Quijada from the Marlins and designated right-handed reliever Parker Markel for assignment.

Quijada, 24, posted a 5.76 ERA with 44 strikeouts, 26 walks and 10 homers allowed in 29 2/3 innings as a rookie in 2019. He relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, which he threw roughly 72 percent of the time last year. It has an above-average spin rate and averaged 93.3 mph, per baseballsavant.com. He also mixed in his changeup roughly 17 percent of the time and his curveball 11 percent.

Quijada has Minor League options, so he can be sent to Triple-A Salt Lake if he doesn’t make the roster. He's had much more success in six seasons in the Minors, posting a career 2.95 ERA with 317 strikeouts, 95 walks and 17 homers allowed in 280 2/3 innings.

The native of Caripito, Venezuela, was designated for assignment by Miami last week to make room for outfielder Matt Joyce on the Marlins' 40-man roster. He has posted high strikeout rates throughout his professional career; the Angels will try to help him improve his walk rate.

If qualified, his 30.6 percent strikeout rate would have ranked 36th among Major League relievers last year, just ahead of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, but his 18.1 percent walk rate would have been the worst in the Majors by a full percentage point. So it’s clear he’s a work in progress.

Markel, 29, was claimed on waivers by the Angels from the Pirates on Oct. 31 and was a rookie last year as well. He posted a 7.77 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 17 walks in 22 innings with Pittsburgh and Seattle.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction, the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.