ANAHEIM -- Kevin Jepsen has regained the velocity needed to be an effective back-end bullpen piece.
He just hasn't been productive enough.
And so, on Friday, the Angels optioned Jepsen to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for new reliever Ernesto Frieri, who was acquired from the Padres Thursday for Minor League utility man Alexi Amarista and right-hander Donn Roach.
"He needs to get on the mound and get hitters out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Jepsen. "And hopefully he's going to get his game together to where he can be part of our bullpen in the near future because we need an arm like that, no doubt."
Jepsen, fully recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery, was back throwing his fastball in the mid to high 90s -- like he did while posting a 3.97 ERA in 68 games in 2010 -- but had given up eight earned runs in seven innings, notching a 10.29 ERA, a 1.57 WHIP and a 2.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the process.
"He had his velocity back, and I think he's expanded the repertoire more to where he's able to do more with the fastball," Scioscia said. "But his command, his ability to pitch in, his ability to command a breaking ball for a strike, are all things that he needs to find."