ARLINGTON -- One year ago, Angels prospect Jaime Barria was pitching in the California League for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Now he's in the Majors.The 21-year-old right-hander is slated to make his MLB debut in today's series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, capping the rapid ascent
ARLINGTON -- One year ago, Angels prospect Jaime Barria was pitching in the California League for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Now he's in the Majors.
The 21-year-old right-hander is slated to make his MLB debut in today's series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, capping the rapid ascent he's made through the Angels' farm system over the past 12 months.
Barria, a native of Panama, admitted Tuesday that even he didn't expect to be here so quickly.
"I'm only 21 years old," Barria said on Tuesday. "I thought this moment would come, just not so soon."
Ranked the Angels' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Barria recorded a 2.80 ERA over 141 2/3 innings across three Minor League levels in 2017, finishing the season at Triple-A Salt Lake. Known for his command, Barria has a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, a deceptive changeup and an 82-83 mph breaking ball.
"I learned at each level," Barria said. "I threw innings across three different levels last year, and it went really well. I feel prepared for my start tomorrow."
Only three other Panamanians were included on Opening Day rosters across MLB this season: the Braves' Johan Camargo, the Padres' Allen Cordoba and the D-backs' Randall Delgado. Barria said his family wouldn't be able to make the trip to Texas on Wednesday and would instead watch his start on TV.
The Angels optioned reliever Eduardo Paredes to Triple-A Salt Lake following Tuesday's 11-1 win to clear a roster spot for Barria ahead of his start on Wednesday.
• Second baseman Ian Kinsler (left adductor strain) is expecting to be activated off the 10-day disabled list on Thursday in Kansas City.
• Shohei Ohtani will make his next start on the mound Sunday in Kansas City. Garrett Richards will pitch against the Royals on Saturday. The Angels have not yet announced their starters for the first two games of the four-game series, but Andrew Heaney is likely to slot back into the rotation on Thursday or Friday. Heaney opened the season on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, but he threw a bullpen session on Monday at Globe Life Park and said he feels ready to go.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.