Morin optioned to Triple-A; Guerra designated for assignment
By Fabian Ardaya
ANAHEIM -- The Angels reshuffled their bullpen before Monday's game against the Tigers, activating closer Huston Street as part of four roster moves.
Street, who was recovering from a left oblique strain, hasn't pitched in the Majors since April 23. He was placed on the 15-day DL on April 28, a day after suffering the injury while warming up in Kansas City. Street held a 1.17 ERA in nine appearances before the injury.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Street, who threw a 20-pitch extended spring game Saturday in Arizona, should be set to go without limitations. While his fastball reportedly topped out at 85 mph during Saturday's game, Scioscia said he expects Street's velocity to return.
With Street's return, reliever Joe Smith is expected to return to his role as setup man. Smith took over the closer duties after Street's injury, earning six saves and blowing just one.
The Angels also recalled left-hander Chris Jones, who the team acquired from Baltimore in a trade on March 30. Jones, who is expected to assume a long-relief role, went 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Salt Lake this season.
"I always look at it like if I'm traded, I'm wanted," Jones said. "I just kept doing what I do. I knew it was obviously a good opportunity and knew that they saw something in me. I just tried my best to show them that something."
Jones has yet to pitch in the Majors while working with the Indians, Braves and Orioles organizations in 10 Minor League seasons.
In corresponding moves, the Angels optioned reliever Mike Morin to Triple-A Salt Lake and designated reliever Deolis Guerra for assignment.
Morin, who gave up the eventual game-winning three-run home run to Carlos Correa in Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Astros, has posted a 5.48 ERA in 25 appearances this season. He flashed signs of being a quality Major League reliever, but Scioscia said he might need to "exhale a bit" in the Minors to regain his consistency.
"There's no doubt that he needs to take a half-step back right now," Scioscia said. "He was at about 25 outings and 11 or 12 of them have been really good, and the other half have been trouble. There's no doubt it's in him."
Guerra posted a 6.75 ERA in three appearances since making his Angels debut on May 21, including two perfect innings in Sunday's 13-inning loss. Scioscia said that while Guerra pitched well, the team needed Jones' length to reset the bullpen.
Guerra is the fifth Angels reliever to be designated for assignment since May 20, joining Danny Reynolds, Al Alburquerque, A.J. Achter and Lucas Luetge. Each of the previous four cleared waivers and were sent to Triple-A.
• Scioscia said left-hander Tyler Skaggs was solid in two innings of work in a simulated game in Arizona on Monday. While he said his fastball wasn't as crisp, the rest of his pitches were working well. It was Skaggs' first time pitching in a game since experiencing left shoulder pain in his April 20 start with Triple-A Salt Lake. Scioscia said he expects Skaggs to throw a 30-pitch simulated game in Arizona on Friday.
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.