Frieri should be a good bullpen fit

ANAHEIM -- Ernesto Frieri was enjoying an off-day Thursday with his wife and baby girl in San Diego when he received a call from Padres general manager Josh Byrnes, who informed him that he had just been traded to the Angels in exchange for minor leaguers Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach.

"I was like, 'Wow,' " Frieri said Friday before the Angels hosted the Toronto Blue Jays. "But then, two hours later, I was like, 'Wow, that's a really good team. I'll take it.' I'm very glad to be here."

Frieri, a 26-year-old right-hander from Colombia, received even more assurance from Padres manager Bud Black, a former pitching coach with the Angels under Mike Scioscia.

"He said, 'Ernie, you're going to a great organization,' " Frieri said. "He told me that Scioscia is a really nice guy and that there's a great coaching staff here. I believe him."

Scioscia says he hopes Frieri can help strengthen the back-end of the bullpen. Angels relievers ranked 26th in the majors with a 4.89 ERA heading into Friday's game.

"All reports point to a guy that will really fit in our bullpen and be part of a component that will hold leads for us," Scioscia said.

To make room for Frieri the Angels optioned right-hander Kevin Jepsen (0-1, 10.29 ERA) to Triple-A Salt Lake City.

"He needs to get on the mound and get hitters out," Scioscia said of Jepsen. "Hopefully he's going to get his game together to where he can be a part of our bullpen in the near future. We need an arm like that, no doubt."

Chris Iannetta, meanwhile, is out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive night as he nurses a sore right wrist. Iannetta was hit by a pitch Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins and X-rays were negative. Scioscia said Iannetta would be available Friday if needed.

In other catching news, Jeff Mathis will make his first appearance in Anaheim since being shipped off to Toronto in a December trade. Mathis spent seven years with the Angels.

Lineups for Friday's game:

Blue Jays

1. Kelly Johnson 2B

2. Yunel Escobar SS

3. Jose Bautista RF

4. Adam Lind 1B

5. Edwin Encarnacion DH

6. Eric Thames LF

7. Brett Lawrie 3B

8. Colby Rasmus CF

9. Jeff Mathis C

RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2. 3.62 ERA)


1. Mike Trout CF

2. Maicer Izturis 3B

3. Albert Pujols 1B

4. Kendrys Morales DH

5. Torii Hunter RF

6. Howie Kendrick 2B

7. Mark Trumbo 3B

8. Erick Aybar SS

9. Bobby Wilson C

RHP Ervin Santana (0-5, 6.16 ERA)