Pair of young lefties called up as rosters expand

Pair of young lefties called up as rosters expand

Pair of young lefties called up as rosters expand
SEATTLE -- In one day, the Angels went from having no lefty relievers to three.

Scott Downs returned from the family medical emergency list on Saturday, which also coincided with the first day of roster expansions and allowed the Angels to add lefties Nick Maronde and Andrew Taylor as part of their September callups.

Taylor and Maronde, ranked by as the Angels' No. 4 prospect, are in the big leagues for the first time. They each work mostly with a fastball-slider combination and will both pitch out of the bullpen.

Their roles, however, are unknown.

"They're definitely some good arms," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who also called up versatile infielder Andrew Romine and catcher John Hester. "It gives us a little bit of balance with where our staff is going into September and we'll see what roles evolve."

Maronde, 22, was taken in the third round of last year's Draft and has jumped three levels in his first full season as a pro, combining to post a 2.26 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a 4.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 20 games (18 starts) for Rookie ball, advanced Class A and Double-A.

Taylor, 26, was taken in the 34th round in 2008 and has made 53 relief appearances for Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake this year, posting a 4.27 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and a 2.24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 59 innings.

It's unlikely that either of them factors into the back end of a bullpen that includes Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs, Kevin Jepsen and Garrett Richards.

"I think our bullpen has come together where we have some guys throwing the ball well that can hold leads, but I think the opportunity to see if these guys are going to be depth this month is something we have to look at," Scioscia said. "If they are, great. It'd be icing on the cake for what we need to do."