Angels bolster 'pen with former starter Oberholtzer

Angels bolster 'pen with former starter Oberholtzer

CLEVELAND -- Prior to the start of a four-game set in Cleveland, the Angels reinforced their bullpen by adding left-hander Brett Oberholtzer to the 25-man roster Thursday afternoon. To make room, Los Angeles optioned right-hander A.J. Achter to Triple-A Salt Lake.

The Halos claimed Oberholtzer off waivers from the Phillies on Tuesday. The new bullpen member said he was sitting at home when he got the call from his new team.

"I was at the house," Oberholtzer said. "I didn't live too far from the Philadelphia ballpark so I got home and hung out when I got the call."

The southpaw made his Angels debut in Thursday's 14-4 loss to the Indians, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three in 1 2/3 innings. His night ended when he surrendered back-to-back homers in the fifth.

Oberholtzer made 26 appearances for the Phillies this season, posting a 2-2 record with a 4.83 ERA. Oberholtzer has logged 38 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings with one save.

However, the southpaw's higher ERA is a result of growing pains out of the gate. Oberholtzer posted a 6.75 ERA in 25 1/3 frames through his first 13 appearances as he adjusted to his new bullpen role. Oberholtzer then churned a 2.88 ERA over his next 13 outings before being designated for assignment by Philadelphia on Saturday.

"I was just learning my role and trying to adapt," Oberholtzer said. "I had never pitched out of the bullpen other than my first few outings when I got called up by Houston. I was just learning the role and seeing how other guys get acclimated when they warm up."

Prior to his stint in Philadelphia, Oberholtzer was a starter for the Astros for three seasons. From 2013-15 he went 11-20 with a 3.94 ERA in 45 games, 42 of which were starts. As of right now, his new ballclub views him as a reliever, though his role has not yet been defined.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he could see Oberholtzer providing length if needed as he has the experience to do so. He has pitched more than two innings 10 times and logged three-plus frames in four appearances. But Oberholtzer could also be used in a variety of short roles as well.

"He's got length in him and we will tap into that part of him if we have to," Scioscia said. "But also there might be some shorter stretches he's pitching in. We will see how it goes."

Even a spot in the rotation is not out of the question. Though the manager doesn't foresee Oberholtzer being needed as a starter in the near future, he didn't rule out the possibility down the road. Oberholtzer certainly welcomes a chance to be a starter again whenever that opportunity presents itself.

"Eventually, yeah," Oberholtzer said. "I'd love to get the opportunity to start. I feel like I am quality enough as a starter."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Angels on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.