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Jose Arredondo

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Jose Juan Arredondo

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Jose Arredondo was signed by Anaheim Angels scout Leo Perez as an undrafted free agent shortstop in 2002. He was converted to pitching and came stateside at age 20 with the 2004 AZL Angels. That year, he hit .191/.203/.221 as a regular shortstop. He then moved to pitching and saving one game and getting no decisions in eight appearances. He struck out 14 in 12 1/3 innings and gave up 10 runs, just 4 of them earned. The next year, Arredondo went 5-0 with a 4.19 ERA for the Orem Owlz and had a 3.38 ERA in five appearances with the Arkansas Travelers.

In 2006, Arredondo went 5-6, 2.30 for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, striking out 115 and allowing just 62 hits in 90 innings pitched. Baseball America rated him as having the best fastball in the California League. Moving back up to Arkansas, he had a 2-3, 6.53 record in 11 starts, allowing a .317 opponent batting average.

Arredondo progressed up the Angels chain in 2007, appearing for the Quakes (2-4, 4 Sv, 6.43, .317 opponent average in 28 G), Arkansas Travelers (0-1, 10 Sv, 2.52, .184 opponent average in 23 G) and Salt Lake Bees (1 R in 3 IP). He began 2008 with Salt Lake and was 1-1 with 10 saves and a 2.12 ERA in 15 games when the Angels called him up.

Jose debuted in the majors during a 6-1 loss to the White Sox, relieving Justin Speier to open the 9th. He allowed a solo homer to his first MLB opponent, Nick Swisher, but recovered to get Juan Uribe swinging and both Orlando Cabrera and A.J. Pierzynski on grounders. He would make 52 appearances for the 2008 Angels, going 10-2 with a 1.62 ERA (274 ERA+). Opponents only hit .190 off the former infielder, while left-handed batters were held to a .148 clip. Arredondo led the club in ERA and opponent average (better than Francisco Rodríguez, who set the new MLB save record that season). He did not allow an earned run in 3 2/3 innings in the postseason.

Arredondo joined another converted position player, Carlos Marmol, in the Dominican Republic's bullpen for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. While he was on the team's roster, he did not make it into a game during the tournament, as the Dominicans were knocked out in only three games. Many saw Arredondo as K-Rod's heir apparent in Los Angeles after the great closer signed as a free agent with the New York Mets before the 2009 season, but the Angels turned to free agent Brian Fuentes instead. Arredondo struggled in his second season, putting up a 6.00 ERA in 43 games. He became a free agent in the off-season and signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

Arredondo missed all of 2010 with an injury, but came back strong in 2011. He began the year in the minors, going 2-1, 2.30 in 12 games for two different teams before the Reds called him back to the big leagues in mid-May. He continued to pitch well in Cincinnati, keeping his ERA below 2.00 over his first 10 games.

Sources: 2005-2009 Baseball Almanacs, Minorleaguebaseball.com

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