Barria gets last-minute nod for Angels at Rangers

Field Level Media

Veteran right-hander Matt Harvey was supposed to get the nod for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday against the host Texas Rangers, but he will instead get an extra day's rest and start the series finale one night later.

Starting instead for the Angels in the middle game of the series in Arlington, Texas, will be right-hander Jaime Barria.

The Angels recalled Barria from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday to fill the roster spot of left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Saturday with a grade 1 sprain of the left ankle.

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Skaggs sustained the injury Friday with two out in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs, when he landed in a hole on the mound at Wrigley Field. Skaggs left the game, and an MRI revealed a minor sprain.

Also on the move Monday was Los Angeles third baseman Taylor Ward, who was sent down to Salt Lake, while fellow righty John Curtiss was called up along with Barria.

However, it's Barria who will open on the mound Tuesday as he makes his first start of the season. His only other appearance for the Angels this year came in relief against the Milwaukee Brewers last Wednesday, when he got the win after allowing one run on four hits in 2 2/3 innings for a 3.38 ERA.

Barria, in his second season in the majors, was 10-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 26 games (all starts) for the Angels a year ago. He was 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA against the Rangers in five starts, striking out 21 in 24 innings.

While injuries prompted the promotion of Barria, the Angels' lineup received a huge boost Monday when Mike Trout returned from a three-game absence caused by a strained right groin.

The veteran took his swings as the designated hitter, going 0-for-2 with three walks and two runs in Los Angeles' 12-7 loss to the Rangers. He's hoping to be back in center field soon.

"I feel great," Trout said before the game, "but obviously, you can't go out there and be game speed. It just is what it is. Obviously, I got to make sure I'm smart about it. But I don't feel anything right now and feel 100 percent, so I'm happy about that."

Barria goes up against lefty Mike Minor (1-0, 3.86 ERA), the Rangers' top performer so far in an underwhelming rotation full of reclamation projects. Coming off a 12-win season in 28 starts during his first year with Texas, Minor continues his comeback from a torn labrum in 2015. Surgery resulted in him missing the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Texas used him cautiously last season, and he pitched well enough during spring training to get the nod as the club's Opening Day starter. He got pummeled by the Chicago Cubs in that one but rebounded nicely in his past two starts, going seven innings in each and allowing a total of just two runs on 10 hits and four walks while striking out 12.

"His expectations coming into this year were to kind of set the tone for the rest of the staff," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said late in spring training. "And when I told him he was the Opening Day guy, he was obviously excited. To be given the opportunity to be the ace, he's not taking that lightly. He's taken on that responsibility of being the No. 1 guy."

Minor is 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings over five career outings (three starts) against the Angels.

--Field Level Media

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