Los Angeles Angels finalize roster going into Opening Day.
The Los Angeles Angels ended the suspense for two non-roster invitees as they announced Saturday that pitchers Bud Norris and Blake Parker have made the opening day roster and will begin the season with the Angels.
After pitching almost flawlessly all Spring Los Angeles Angels pitcher Blake Parker now knows that he will be in the Angels bullpen at least for now. Parker was claimed off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers over the Winter and was considered a longshot to make the team going into Spring Training. However Parker was lights out all Spring giving up only one earned run in 12.1 innings of work striking out a whopping 24 batters in the process.
The Angels were looking at a few other options in the bullpen such as Jose Valdez and Mike Morin who both pitched for the Angels last season, but Morin’s Spring was less than stellar as he went 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. More importantly he has an opponent’s batting average of .293 giving up 12 hits in only 10.1 innings.
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Valdez on the other hand went 3-1 with a 4.61 ERA in 13 appearances with a 1.24 WHIP. His opponents batting average was .231 but he still struggled at times which seemed to seal his fate of making the Angels bullpen.
Valdez and Morin were both sent outright to Triple-A Salt Lake City and will attempt to pitch his way back to the majors with the Bees. Parker’s role in the bullpen is unclear and may be short-lived as someone will need to be sent down when Huston Street returns probably by the end of the month. So with that said Parker will have a month to prove he belongs in the majors.
Bud Norris on the other hand has a plethora of experience pitching in the majors for eight seasons, but was still considered a longshot to make the team out of Spring Training. Just like Parker, Norris had a great Spring, despite a poor start.
In Norris’ first performance he struggled to make it through his scheduled two innings of work. Norris was very wild hitting a batter and walked a batter but he still got out of it unscathed as Greg Mahle got the final out of the inning to save Norris.
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However as time went on Norris got more and more comfortable and ended the Spring with a 2.70 ERA and a WHIP of 0.90. Even more impressive was his 18 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work and an opponents batting average of .163. Norris was a candidate to win the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but that job was eventually claimed by Jesse Chavez.
Before this is over I’m willing to bet Norris will get a spot start or two. For now Norris will be the long man in the Angels bullpen. One thing is for sure Norris and Parker both are excited to make the club. Now let’s see how they do going forward.