The Angels added another power-armed rookie to the bullpen Saturday when they called up 22-year-old right-hander Trevor Gott from triple-A Salt Lake.
Gott, acquired from San Diego in last July’s Huston Street deal, had a combined earned-run average of 2.25 in 25 games for double-A Arkansas and Salt Lake this season, striking out 30 and walking 12 in 28 innings.
He is not exactly sure why or how, but the velocity of his fastball jumped from the 93-mph range last summer to the 96-mph range this season. He has also shown good command of a curve and changeup.
“I think it’s just growing up, getting stronger and gaining arm strength,” Gott said.
Gott joins fellow rookie right-hander Cam Bedrosian as the hardest throwing relievers in a bullpen anchored by softer throwing veterans Street and Joe Smith.
Gott, who is not related to Angels minor league pitching coordinator Jim Gott, was a closer for two seasons at Kentucky, and he thinks the high-pressure situations and stiff competition he faced in the Southeastern Conference helped prepare him for professional ball.
Gott will be used in lower-leverage situations for now, but Manager Mike Scioscia thinks he has the potential to be a setup man or closer.
“The upside for his arm is very evident,” Scioscia said. “He has a back-end-of-a-bullpen type of arm, and hopefully he’ll grow into that.”
Collin Cowgill has hit what Scioscia called “a plateau” in his recovery from a right wrist sprain, and the reserve outfielder will travel to Arizona on Monday to be examined by a specialist. Cowgill began taking batting practice this past week.
“It just hasn’t progressed the way we anticipated,” Scioscia said. “No doubt, there’s a level of concern because of the area [the injury is] in. … Collin is one of those guys you don’t really appreciate until he’s not there. He does so many things for us.”
Albert Pujols hit a solo homer to left field in the first inning Saturday night against Oakland, his 10th homer in 15 games and the 538th of his career. The shot gave Pujols 1,636 career runs batted in, tying him with Ernie Banks for 29th on baseball’s all-time list. Pujols became the sixth player in Angels history and first since Mo Vaughn in May of 2000 to hit 10 homers in a 15-game span.