Angels release Iglesias, promote RHP Junk

September 4th, 2021

ANAHEIM -- The Angels released veteran shortstop before Friday’s game against the Rangers, as they plan on utilizing Jack Mayfield as their primary shortstop for the rest of the season and wanted to give Iglesias a chance to latch on with another club.

Iglesias hadn't started since Aug. 27 and committed two errors in that game. The 10-year veteran is known for his incredible defense, but made 16 errors in 114 games this season, topping his career-high by five.

He also batted .259/.295/.375 with eight homers and 41 RBIs and struggled recently at the plate. He hit .193 with a homer and nine RBIs in 24 games in August. Mayfield will now be the regular at shortstop with Luis Rengifo as the backup.

“We felt by letting him go, he’d get an opportunity,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s not the type of guy who wants to sit on your bench for a long period of time. He’s just not used to that; that’s not who he is. So, by doing it the way we did it, he has a chance to advance further. And we get a chance to see Jack over there.”

Iglesias, though, won’t be eligible for the postseason if he signs with a contending team. He’s set to be a free agent after the season after signing a two-year deal worth $6 million with the Orioles before the 2020 season. The Angels acquired Iglesias in an offseason trade for pitching prospects Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings.

The Angels filled his roster spot by selecting the contract of right-hander Janson Junk from Double-A Rocket City. Junk, ranked as the club’s No. 22 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was acquired at the Trade Deadline as part of the trade that sent lefty Andrew Heaney to the Yankees.

Junk, 25, has posted a 2.81 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 93 innings in Double-A this year. He took a perfect game into the ninth inning of his last start on Saturday.

He's scheduled to start for the Angels on either Sunday or Monday against the Rangers, but Maddon said they are still working on how their pitching will look beyond Saturday.

“When we acquired him, a lot of guys spoke very highly of him and when I looked him up, the numbers were good,” Maddon said. “And I’ve listened to conversations. He’s well liked.”