Los Angeles Angels 1st Half Team Report Card
Relievers – The Angels bullpen has been a strength for the most part the past two seasons, but in 2016 it has been their Achilles Heel. With the exception of Deolis Guerra and Cam Bedrosian all of the pitchers in the bullpen have ERA’s over 4.00 this season.
Guerra has been solid since he was called up at the beginning of June. In June Guerra had a 1.17 ERA and in July he has been pretty solid as well and has a nice 2.73 ERA with a 0.84 WHIP. What’s even better is he has walked only one batter in 26.2 innings. Bedrosian has been equally as effective if not better than Guerra. Bedrosian has a 1.09 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. He also has 36 strikeouts in only 33 innings.
That was the good part of the Angels bullpen, but everything else has not been so good. Set-up man/closer Joe Smith has a 4.80 ERA with a 1.47 WHIP. He filled in at closer when Street was hurt, and actually saved 6 of 9 games, but after starting strong in April with an ERA of 3.00, Smith’s ERA started to climb due to a 5.11 ERA in May and then a 9.64 ERA in July thus far. Rumor has it that Smith, whose contract expires at the end of the season, may be traded before the end of the month. He is a good guy and great to have in the clubhouse, but his time in Anaheim may come to an end soon.
As for closer Huston Street he has not fared any better than Smith, and may be even worse so far this season. After a stellar April which saw Street’s ERA at 1.17 by month’s end Street went on the DL with a strained oblique muscle that cost him five weeks on the DL. Since he came back Street has not been the same sporting a 10.80 ERA in June to balloon Street’s ERA to 5.28 and it now rests at 5.09. He has converted 7 of 9 saves, but I’m sure Mike Scioscia is thinking twice as of late on whether or not to use Street.
The rest of the Angels bullpen has been just as bad as Greg Mahle, Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin, and Fernando Salas have all been subpar this season which has landed three of the four back in Triple-A (Salas only one in the majors). The Angels decided that Mahle and Alvarez (both left-handers) were so bad it would be better to go with no left-handed relievers in the pen.
Grade: D- = If not for Deolis Guerra and Cam Bedrosian as well as good starts to the season by Street, Smith, and Salas, the bullpen would have gotten a F —. Hopefully Street and Smith will get it together soon and the rest of the relief corps will follow suit.
Next: Is Scioscia's time past?