The Angels bullpen is reeling. It has been an endless carousel of unknowns minor league fillers who have been filling up the spots needed. Seriously, did you know anything about Robert Coello before the Angels selected his contract from the Salt Lake City Bees, and added him to the Major League roster, this afternoon? Yeah, neither did I.
If Coello is called on to pitch, will be the 20th pitcher this season to stand on the mound with an Angels cap on. It’s not the most used in the Big Leagues this year (the Texas Ranger have used 21), but it’s a heckuva lot more than should have been used by now. Injuries, of course, to Sean Burnett and Kevin Jepsen haven’t helped, and Scott Downs is now nursing his second boo boo of the season. Vital cogs that were expected to be used like grandpa’s rented mule, hurt(ing). In their place have been the not ready Michael Roth, the really not ready Ryan Brasier, Nick Maronde, perpetual mop-up man, Barry Enright……I think you get my point. It’s been crap, crap, crap and even more crap piled as high and as deep it gets (I still love you, Nick. I promise. Just start throwing your fastballs for first-pitch strikes).
One of the Angels more talked about signings this winter, was 32 year-old closer Ryan Madson. Madson of course was fresh of missing his only season in Cincinnati because of Tommy John Surgery. But, when right, Madson is one of the more dominant relievers in the game, and would form one of the more imposing bullpen duo’s with Ernesto Frieri when he is finally ready to join the club. And that time, could be coming, very soon in fact. At least, that is how Alden Gonzalez put it when he tweeted this this afternoon…
Butcher on Madson sim game: “He threw the (bleep) out of the ball.” Rehab assignment coming Monday. May only need two. #Angels
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) May 11, 2013
Madson also relayed this bit of information to Gonzalez a few days ago, which Alden posted the team site…
The tentative plan, as relayed by Madson himself: Face hitters in Arizona on Thursday and Saturday, pitch in a Minor League game on Monday, then see how he feels. If he needs another outing, which he most likely will, he’ll pitch on the following Wednesday. If not, he’ll go straight to the big leagues. Linky link
Couple that with Jepsen increasing the intensity of his throwing, Downs not needing to go on the DL, and Burnett being probably two weeks away after receiving an anti-inflammatory shot from Dr. James Andrews, and the bullpen that we were supposed to be seeing by mid-April could finally be in full force by mid-May. It’s also noteworthy, that with Jered Weaver finally throwing off a mound, getting the entire band together in the bullpen is vital. It’s the kind of talent infusion on the pitching side of the game, that could turn the season around.