Geltz 'can't stop smiling' about first MLB callup

Geltz 'can't stop smiling' about first MLB callup

Geltz 'can't stop smiling' about first MLB callup
ANAHEIM -- Steven Geltz, the new member of the Angels' beleaguered bullpen, already found it weird that he had gone four straight games without an appearance for Triple-A Salt Lake. He found it even weirder when Salt Lake Bees manager Keith Johnson called him into his office after Friday's game and told him, "You have to tighten it up."

"What do you mean?" Geltz asked his skipper.

"Well," Johnson told him, "you have to make a good first impression on [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia."

"My jaw dropped and I started crying," Geltz recalled. "I just couldn't believe it. It was just so surreal."

By Saturday, while sitting at his new locker in the Angels' clubhouse after his first big league callup, the emotions still hadn't washed away for the 24-year-old right-hander.

"This is incredible," he said. "I have to remind myself to breathe every now and then. I can't stop smiling. This is a dream come true."

The Angels officially purchased Getz' contract on Saturday, making him the 37th member of their 40-man roster, to take the place of righty David Carpenter, who posted a 4.76 ERA in 28 appearances as mostly a long reliever.

Geltz, signed by the Angels as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Buffalo in 2008, is listed at 5-foot-10, but probably stands about 5-foot-8.

That doesn't mean he can't strike out hitters, though.

He does that a lot, actually. Using mostly a low-90s fastball that boasts plenty of life, coupled with a splitter and slider, he posted a 12.1 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate in his five years in the Angels' system to go along with a 3.51 ERA in 165 appearances.

Geltz -- more of a fly-ball pitcher, which suits Angel Stadium -- torched through Double-A this year, giving up only a run while striking out 37 in 25 1/3 innings, then put up a 3.76 ERA in 19 appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.