The Los Angeles Angels went into Spring Training with 3 potential closer candidates in Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian, and Andrew Bailey. Street is now out of the race with an arm injury. Leaving Bedrosian & Bailey to battle it out.
Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler in his infinite wisdom decided the Angels should re-sign closer Andrew Bailey possibly as a precautionary measure. Eppler has been looking very smart with Huston Street going down with a grade 1 right lat strain and it will be at least two more weeks before he can start throwing again.
Cam Bedrosian on the other hand had a strained groin and had not pitched all Spring until Thursday against the Indians. So by default Bailey is the leader in the race to begin the 2017 season as the Angels closer.
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So far Bailey has not exactly pitched like someone you would want to have as your closer. Bailey has pitched three times for a total of 2.2 innings giving up four earned runs. In that time Bailey has walked five batters and struck out four which has led to a 13.50 ERA and a 2.63 WHIP. Bailey did pitch well Thursday going one scoreless inning walking one and striking out one batter.
So what about Bedrosian’s debut? He also pitched a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout. Last year Bedrosian had a breakout season in 2016 with a 2-0 record and one save. Bedrosian has a 1.12 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP. He has 51 strikeouts in 40.1 innings of work before going down with a blood clot with his arm in early August and was lost for the season.
Bedrosian was used primarily as a set-up man but closed two games before getting injured. He got his first major league save on August 1st against Oakland , but then blew a save the next day a game the Angels won on a Albert Pujols walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.
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So realistically who will be the Angels closer when the season starts in three weeks. My bet would be on Bailey as he has more experience and Bedrosian would return to his set-up role where he was so effective last season.
When Street gets healthy it will make things really interesting. Street was the favorite going into Spring Training, but it will probably take a week or more for Angels manager Mike Scioscia to be confident enough to put Street back in that role.
We will continue to follow this race and other Angels Spring Training news.