TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jaime Barria enjoyed a sharp ascent through the Angels' farm system in 2017, rising from Class A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake and cementing his reputation as one of the most promising pitching prospects in the organization.The Angels got a glimpse at Barria's potential on
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jaime Barria enjoyed a sharp ascent through the Angels' farm system in 2017, rising from Class A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake and cementing his reputation as one of the most promising pitching prospects in the organization.
The Angels got a glimpse at Barria's potential on Sunday after the 21-year-old right-hander fired two hitless innings in the club's 7-6 win over the Rockies at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Barria walked one and struck out three, including Ian Desmond and Nolan Arenado in the fifth inning, in his second outing of the spring for the Angels. It was an improvement from his Cactus League debut against the Padres on Feb. 26, when he gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings and was charged with the loss.
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"For a kid coming into his first camp, he's growing with every bullpen and keeps growing with every outing," manager Mike Scioscia said. "This was definitely his best outing so far. He's got a lot of talent, and I think our goal is to get him ready for the season. Hopefully he'll be on our depth chart at some point."
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Angels right-hander Matthew Shoemaker gave up three runs on four hits -- including back-to-back home runs to Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson in the second inning -- in 2 1/3 innings in his second start of the spring.
"Matt looked good," Scioscia said. "Outside of a couple counts that got away from him, I thought he changed speeds well. He really didn't have his split going, but he threw some good sliders and spotted his fastball well."
Up, up and away
Justin Upton collected his first home run of the spring on Sunday, hammering a two-run shot off Scott Oberg in the fifth inning. Upton, who added an RBI double in the third, is 3-for-7 with four RBIs in three games this spring.
The Ohtani brief
Shohei Ohtani took batting practice on Sunday and is slated to return to the Angels' lineup as the designated hitter on Monday against the Reds at Goodyear. Ohtani has batted in two Cactus League games, going 1-for-4 with two walks and an RBI.
Ohtani is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday before making his third start on the mound Friday. The Angels are still deciding whether to have Ohtani pitch in their Cactus League game against the Cubs in Mesa or in the club's "B" game against a Mexican League club at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Jose Alvarez's chances of securing a spot in the Angels' bullpen looked pretty good over the winter, given his standing as the only left-handed reliever on the club's 40-man roster, but he's bolstered his case even further by pitching three scoreless innings to start the spring. He entered Sunday's game in the fourth inning and promptly retired all three batters he faced, striking out Rodgers swinging and inducing lineouts from Hampson and Mike Tauchman.
Ian Krol, who is in camp on a Minor League deal, could still challenge Alvarez for the left-handed spot, but he allowed two runs over two-thirds of an inning on Sunday and now has an 8.10 ERA over 3 1/3 innings in four Cactus League appearances this year.
Jefry Marte, who exited Saturday night's game with right groin tightness, will likely be kept out of action for the next couple days as a precautionary measure.
"It doesn't look like it's anything that would linger," Scioscia said. "But we want to make sure we err on the side of caution right now."
A corner infielder, Marte's playing time with the Angels appears quite limited this season given the presence of Zack Cozart at third base and Luis Valbuena and Jose Pujols at first, though Marte is a potential candidate for a bench job. The 26-year-old spent most of the 2017 season at Triple-A Salt Lake and batted just .173 with a .576 OPS in 45 games with the Angels.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney will make his second start of the spring on Monday, when the Angels head to Goodyear to face the Reds. Heaney pitched two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut against the Indians on Feb. 28. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT, and the game can be viewed on MLB.TV.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.
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