Navarro down, Mattheus up …
The Angels optioned first baseman/outfielder Efren Navarro to Triple-A Salt Lake prior to Friday’s game, selecting the contract of veteran reliever Ryan Mattheus to put them at 13 pitchers and 12 position players.
The Angels needed the extra bullpen arm because setup man Joe Smith has pitched in three straight games and closer Huston Street has appeared in two in a row, which probably makes them unavailable for the second of a four-game series against the Astros.
Mattheus was signed to a Minor League contract in the offseason and is out of options, which means he’ll have to slip through waivers in order to be sent back to Triple-A.
The 31-year-old right-hander appeared in 145 games for the Nationals from 2011-14, posting a 3.60 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP and a 1.49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. For the Salt Lake Bees this year, he had a 2.84 ERA in 12 2/3 innings, issuing two walks and striking out 12 batters. The Angels’ 40-man roster is now at 39.