Braves strengthen bullpen with trade for Angels reliever Scott Downs
The Atlanta Braves' hunt for a left-handed reliever has resulted in a trade. The Braves announced via Twitter a trade with the Los Angeles Angels, bringing reliever Scott Downs to Atlanta in exchange for right-handed pitcher Cory Rasmus.
Downs, 37, had been the Angels' most consistent reliever this season, making 29 consecutive appearances without giving up a run -- one shy of the franchise record set by Francisco Rodriguez in 2006. Downs' streak ended Saturday when A's pinch-hitter Derek Norris hit a two-run homer on his first pitch of the seventh inning. The three-run inning capped a come-from-behind win for the AL West-leading A's and dropped the Angels 12 games back.
After the game, Downs talked about the type of pitcher he needs to be. From the Los Angeles Times:
"It doesn't happen very often, but when you're not a velocity guy and you leave the ball up and over the middle to good hitters, that's what happens," said Downs, who hadn't given up a home run since Seattle's Justin Smoak took him deep Sept. 25. "I'm about location, changing speeds."
Downs' 2013 statistics remain impressive even after Saturday's setback, with 18 holds, a 1.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Cory Rasmus, the younger brother to Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Colby Rasmus, has pitched primarily as a Triple-A closer this season after making his major-league debut in May. He was called up again in June. The Braves acquired him 38th overall in the 2006 draft.