Barria, 23, appeared in line to earn a spot on the opening day roster as a starter when Griffin Canning was sidelined for about a month because of elbow issues that did not require surgery. Now the final two spots in the rotation, which will feature left-hander Andrew Heaney and newcomers Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy, could go to two of Matt Andriese, Dillon Peters, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez.
Felix Peña, recovering from a knee surgery he underwent in August, could also form part of the rotation. Manager Joe Maddon said Peña would only have been able to pitch out of the bullpen early in the season because he wouldn’t have enough time to get stretched out for a start in spring training — but that was before the spread of the coronavirus prompted Major League Baseball to suspend spring training indefinitely and delay the beginning of the season.
There is also a chance the delay allows the Angels to begin the season with both Canning and Shohei Ohtani in the rotation. Ohtani, who threw a 59-pitch bullpen session just shy of full intensity last week and will continue to ramp up his pitching during the shutdown, is expected to be ready to pitch in major league games by mid-May. Canning had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow and will be reevaluated in about two weeks.
Barria, who had a 3.41 earned-run average in 26 starts as a rookie in 2018 but posted an underwhelming 6.42 ERA in 2019, began his Cactus League campaign with nine scoreless innings over three games. But he gave up six earned runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start.
The Angels also optioned relievers Taylor Cole, Kyle Keller and Jose Quijada and catcher Anthony Bemboom to triple A. The move leaves Max Stassi as the backup to veteran catcher Jason Castro.