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Buttrey quickly earns elevated role in Halos 'pen

September 12, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Rookie reliever Ty Buttrey has been in the big leagues for less than a month, but he's already pitched his way into a late-inning role for the Angels.The latest example of his ascent came on Tuesday night, when he was summoned to protect the Angels' one-run lead after

ANAHEIM -- Rookie reliever Ty Buttrey has been in the big leagues for less than a month, but he's already pitched his way into a late-inning role for the Angels.
The latest example of his ascent came on Tuesday night, when he was summoned to protect the Angels' one-run lead after the Rangers put runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth inning. Buttrey worked out of the jam by coaxing a groundout from Jurickson Profar and then posted a scoreless ninth to convert his first four-out save and seal the Angels' 1-0 win.
Since debuting with the club on Aug. 16, Buttrey has a 0.77 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings and two saves. The 25-year-old right-hander relies primarily on his firm fastball, though he also mixes in a changeup and slider.
"The guy is lights-out," fellow reliever Richard Parker said. "You can see what he's got. He's upper-90s with two other wipeout pitches. He's getting some of the game's best hitters out. It's exciting to see what he's going to do in the future, for sure."
Buttrey said his early success with the Angels has helped him brew confidence and not let the high-leverage situations overwhelm him.
"It's very easy to be a rookie and let things speed up on me," Buttrey said. "It's weird. I've been telling everybody that in Triple-A, it's like I was trying to pitch so perfect to get called up that everything was speeding up on me. And now that I'm here in the big leagues, it's almost as if things have slowed down. I think that's just having confidence and going out there and trying to dominate each at-bat."
The Angels acquired Buttrey and left-hander Williams Jerez from the Red Sox as part of the Ian Kinsler trade on Aug. 30. The deal is already looking like a win for the Angels, as they turned an expiring contract into a pair of promising pitchers who could develop into key bullpen pieces in the years to come.
"Buttrey and Jerez have that back-end-of-the-bullpen-arm potential," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They're going to get an opportunity to pitch. That's their upside. I think that they'll both eventually going to grow into that. It depends on the rate that they continue to grow and how they maintain their stuff. These guys, nothing's changed from what we thought they would be when they were acquired."

Scioscia bobblehead giveaway set for Sept. 29
The Angels announced Wednesday that they'll be giving out a Scioscia bobblehead on Sept. 29, the penultimate game of the 2018 season. Scioscia is in the final year of his 10-year contract with the club, though he has denied reports that he plans to step down at the end of the season.
Scioscia's bobblehead -- which he called "ugly" -- depicts him with a card that includes an All-Star lineup of players he managed over his 19-year tenure: Michael Trout CF, Vladimir Guerrero DH, Garret Anderson LF, Jose Pujols 1B, Tim Salmon RF, Troy Glaus 3B, Bengie Molina C, Andrelton Simmons SS, Howie Kendrick 2B, with Torii Hunter, Chone Figgins and Darin Erstad available off the bench.
"That's a nice lineup," Scioscia said.
No pitcher is listed on the card, and Scioscia said it'd be tough to pick just one.
"There's a lot of guys," Scioscia said. "At times it was Bart [Bartolo Colon], at times it was [John] Lackey, at times it was [Jered] Weaver, at times it was [Ervin] Santana, at times it was [Joe] Saunders."
More bullpenning
The Angels will have another bullpen game on Thursday to give their entire rotation an extra day of rest during this weekend's four-game series against the Mariners. They have not announced who will start.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.