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Angels prospect Reid Detmers could offer panda-powered pitching help

Louisville's Reid Detmers throws during a 2019 NCAA super regional tournament game.
Louisville’s Reid Detmers throws during a 2019 NCAA super regional tournament game. The Angels prospect represented the team in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

After a distinguished college career, and a pandemic that delayed the start of his professional career, Reid Detmers finally got to make his first major league start this season.

As a Trash Panda.

“Everybody seems to love the name,” Detmers said, “and everybody wants one of the jerseys.”

Detmers, the Angels’ first-round draft pick last year, joined the Rocket City Trash Pandas of Madison, Ala., for their inaugural season, and his.

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To start a pro career at double A is an indication you are pretty close to the major leagues. To excel at double A, in an organization forever searching for starting pitching, is an indication you might be closer than you think.

The Angels have played well enough lately to pull above .500 but still trail several teams in the standings. More improvement could prompt a buying mode.

Detmers represented the Angels in the Futures Game on Sunday, facing two batters and striking out both. Class-A pitcher Hector Yan also represented the Angels, and double-A infielder Michael Busch and double-A pitcher Andre Jackson represented the Dodgers.

Detmers is 2-3 with a 3.60 earned-run average. He leads his league in strikeouts, with 91 in 50 innings, and with a jump in velocity from his college days. He has walked 17, and he has given up 10 home runs.

“Reid has pitched extremely well,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian told reporters last week, “but there are parts of his game that still need to be sharpened, and he’s working on, day in, day out to improve.”

Minasian said Sunday that Detmers is not moving to triple A for now. But the bigger picture is clear: The Angels have a rotation full of question marks and vacancies for 2022, and Detmers could force his way into consideration.

“That’s not up to me,” Detmers said. “That’s obviously the front office’s decision. I have no say in that. All I can do is put in the work on the field and see what happens.”

None of the pitchers drafted by the Angels from 2010 to 2019 has provided them with even 100 innings in a season. Griffin Canning was on pace to do so this season, but the Angels demoted him to triple A this month.

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Angels slugger Jared Walsh took a deep dive into mastering what he calls ‘the art and the science of hitting.’ The result was All-Star production.

Shohei Ohtani is an All-Star atop the rotation. Beyond that, however, Dylan Bundy, Alex Cobb, Andrew Heaney and Jose Quintana are eligible for free agency after the season. The Angels are currently auditioning Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez in the rotation.

In the not-too-distant future, Detmers could have a running University of Louisville reunion in Southern California. His college rotation mate, Bobby Miller, was the Dodgers’ first-round pick last year. Miller is 1-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 games at Class-A Great Lakes. In 36 innings, he has struck out 40, walked 10 and given up one home run.

Detmers vs. Miller, for bragging rights in L.A.?

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“That’s the goal,” Detmers said. “I don’t know when that will happen, but hopefully it’s soon. I’m just wishing him the best of luck.”

Oh, and just what is a trash panda?

“As far as I know,” Detmers said, “it’s a raccoon in a trash can.”


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