Huston Street: 2014 Angels Year in Review


Los Angeles Angels’ closer in the second half, Huston Street was coming off of a 2013 season where his ERA was good at 2.70 but his FIP was close to five as he gave up the most home runs of his career, 12. This cost him a couple games, but he was still able to record 33 saves for a very bad San Diego Padres team. Expectations for 2014 were that he would bounce back and he did just that. He spent the first part of the season with San Diego and was traded to Los Angeles on July 19, along with Minor Leaguer Trevor Gott, for four Angels Minor Leaguers.

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The right-hander has spent his entire career on the west coast floating from team to team, and has done well everywhere he has been. He won the Rookie of the Year award with the Oakland A’s back in 2005 and has been an All-Star twice, including 2014 with San Diego. He is no longer the strikeout closer, but more about using movement on his pitches to get ground balls.

The Good: His 2014 season was good all-around. He recorded the most saves of his career between San Diego and Los Angeles, with 41, 17 of them coming with the Angels. What made him successful was the ability to work quick innings and have the inning end, before it really got started. He filled the strike zone and didn’t full around, making the hitters uneasy in the box against him. Not the type of uneasy a hitter would feel against say, Aroldis Chapman, but a feel that they really didn’t get their at-bat started.

He gave up nine runs all season long, five of them coming with the Angels. When he did give up runs, twice they came in multiples, so when he was good, he was really good. He always pitched to begin an inning and Mike Scioscia should look to use him more in the eighth inning of games in 2015, when the team needs a big out. I won’t hold my breath though.

There isn’t really anything bad to say about his season, but if he would have stayed in the same league the whole season, he would possibly be getting MVP votes. He still may get some, but it is doubtful because of his switching of leagues half way through the season. He has gotten MVP votes two other times in his career.

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The Future: The future is kind of foggy right now for Street. He has a $7 million dollar club option on the table for 2015. I fully expect that the Angels to pick it up, but until then Street is playing the waiting game. So if and when the Angels do re-sign him for next season and possibly 2016, don’t expect another season like 2014.

It will be hard to repeat what he did. He will be playing in a ballpark that favors pitchers for the most part, but not as much as San Diego. He will also be facing a full season of American League lineups, and some really good lineups in his own division. FanGraphs’ projection system has him going back to normal in 2015. I could be wrong, but I agree with what they have. They project him to throw over 60 innings, but have his home run numbers going up with his move to the AL. That could be the kicker of the 2015 season. When does he give up home runs and do they cost the Angels the game? If he can avoid giving up the long ball in big situations he will be just fine.