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Angels Designate José Suarez, Cole Tucker for Assignment

The Angels announced that they have returned the infielder Brandon Drury on the injured list and opted for a right-handed contract Zach Plesac. In parallel movements, to the left José Suarez and an infielder Cole Tucker they were selected for the assignment.

Suarez, 26, ran for two years for the Angels. In the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he made 45 appearances for the club, 34 of which were starts. He went 207 1/3 innings, allowing a 3.86 earned run per nine. His 21.5% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate and 44.5% ground ball rate were around the league average at the time.

But things have been bad ever since. He spent nearly four months on the disabled list last year with a shoulder strain and had an 8.29 ERA in 33 2/3 innings pitched. Apparently the Halos were hoping to bounce back, and offered Suarez a contract. The two sides eventually went to court, with the club winning and paying Suarez $925K instead of his asking price of $1.35MM. He has avoided the IL this year but the results haven’t improved, as he has an 8.15 ERA in 35 1/3 innings pitched so far this season.

That’s probably not as bad as it seems, as his .375 batting average on balls in play and 57.1% slugging percentage are both on the unfortunate side. But his walk rate is over 12% this year and last year, which hasn’t helped him. With him out of costs, the only way for the Angels to get him off the active roster was to take him out of the 40 completely.

They will now have one week to try to trade him or place him off waivers. Perhaps another high-demand club with a plan to get him back on track will be surprised, though his recent struggles will obviously dampen the excitement. If he goes through unclaimed waivers, he will be able to choose a free offer since he has more than three years on the job. But since he has less than five years of service, he can lose the rest of his salary by doing so. Given those circumstances, he may end up sticking with the Angels as undrafted depth.

Tucker, 27, has been a standout player for the Pirates but has been struggling in the big leagues. He signed a minor league deal with the Angels in mid-April and was added to their roster a few weeks later. Since then he has 57 plate appearances in 25 games but has hit 29.8% and produced a paltry .180/.263/.300 line. That brings his career slash to .213/.266/.316.

The Halos will have a week to find things with Tucker, but interest may be very low based on his limited production. He has a straight forward career and will be able to opt for free agency if he ever makes another mistake.

When the Angels added him to their roster, Tucker told the media that he had been offered a coaching position by the Mariners but wanted to continue playing. He’ll probably continue to pursue playing opportunities but it sounds like he’ll have plans to fall back every time he decides to fill his slots.

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