What’s another prospect in an already devastated system? Per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, after already trading a six prospects to bring in closer Huston Street and lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, the Angels have shored up their bullpen even further, acquiring Vinnie Pestano from the Indians for right-hander Michael Clevinger.
Pestano, 29, has only thrown nine innings in 13 appearances this season, allowing 5 earned runs and striking out 13 batters. From 2011 to 2012, however, he was one of cleveland’s most effective relievers, with a 2.45 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 132.0 innings. And he’s been more than serviceable in Triple-A this year – 32 appearances, 1.78 ERA, 37 punchouts.
Clevinger, 23, started 2014 with five strong starts in the Full-A Midwest League (3-0, 1.88 ERA), but he has been erratic since a promotion to Inland Empire, posting a 4.4 BB/9 and 5.37 ERA. He continues to miss bats, though, racking up 58 punchouts in 55.1 innings.
Clevinger, who was drafted by Los Angeles in the 4th round of 2011 draft, missed most of the 2012 and 2013 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery two years. Still, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo ranked him as the Angels’ 10th best prospect, praising the Florida Native for his fastball and sharp slider, and noting his feel for a curveball and change-up.
That being said, top ten on the Angels is not the same as top ten in most other organizations. Already one of the weakest farms in baseball, the system took a significant hit as they traded away Jose Rondon, R.J. Alvarez, Taylor Lindsey (all formerly among their top 10 prospects) and Elliot Morris to San Diego to acquire Houston Street, and also flipped lesser pieces in Zach Borenstein and Joey Kreihbiel to acquire Joe Thatcher from Arizona.