How The Los Angeles Angels Stack Up….Bullpen

By Jason Evans

With pitchers and catchers reporting in just eight days, (YES!) I’m going to continue the how the Angels stack up series with a look at the bullpens. Again, I’m using the data per and I’m ranking them as of this posting. What really cost the Angels a postseason birth last year was the bullpen. The Angels reloaded the pen, but will it be enough to have them as the best in the division? Let’s take a look.

Oct 1, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher

Ryan Madson

(46) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during game one of the 2011 NLDS at Citizen Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cardinals 11-6. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Houston Astros

Closer-Jose Veras

Setup- Wesley Wright and Hector Ambriz

Look the Astros are rebuilding everywhere and especially in the bullpen. With the trade of Wilton Lopez to the Rockies, the closer spot opened up and the team went out and signed Jose Veras, who hasn’t closed before. A guy to watch is rule V pickup Josh Fields. The guy has a power arm and closed in college.

  1. Seattle Mariners

Closer- Tom Wilhelmsen

Setup- Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor

Speaking of power arms, look no further than the back end of the Mariners bullpen. The Mariners have a ton of cheap, power arms, which to me, is exactly how you build a bullpen. Now can they do it again and for a full season?

  1. Texas Rangers

Closer- Joe Nathan

Setup- Jason Frasor and Robbie Ross

This bullpen may be very deep come the end of the season with Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz coming off Tommy John surgery. The team has to decided where they want to put Feliz, but a 7-8-9 combo of Soria, Feliz and Nathan can be extremely lethal.

  1. Oakland Athletics

Closer- Grant Balfour

Setup- Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle

Speaking of young, power arms, the A’s are full of them too. The team’s success last year, was built on pitching, especially relying on a bullpen that was lockdown. There is going to be a bit of regression this year, the question is how much?

  1. Los Angeles Angels

Closer- Ryan Madson

Setup- Ernesto Frieri and Sean Burnett

Even if Madson needs to be brought along slowly early on, the team should have enough depth, between their setup corps and having Scott Downs and Kevin Jepsen in the middle. The bullpen should be better this year and shouldn’t be a reason if the team doesn’t meet expectations.

Do you agree? Do you feel the Angels have the best bullpen in the division? Vote in our poll or leave a comment here.