LA Angels to Use Closer Committee

Jul 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (68) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Angels won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (68) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Angels won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /
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During Spring Training, one of the most watched position battles for the LA Angels was the closer role. Between Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian, and Andrew Bailey, it seemed like one of them would be pinned as the team’s closer.

However, LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia has chosen to close games by committee. This is a move many did not see coming, especially after the spring that Bedrosian had. He was absolutely dynamite for the Angels, as he did not allow a single earned run over nine innings of work. In those nine games, he allowed only four hits, two walks, and struck out 11 batters. He also held batters to a .129 batting average.

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This spectacular spring followed a 2016 season in which he was a bright spot for the Halos. Bedrosian hurled his way to a 1.12 ERA over 45 games. He struck out 51 batters while walking 14 (one intentionally) and allowed only one long ball. Bedrosian has excellent control, and was one of the best setup men in baseball last year. He has shown no reasons as to why he could not do the same to close games.

Huston Street was the team’s closer to start the season last year. However, it was a year to forget for the former ace. Whether it was just injuries or if old age had something to do with it, Street had a sharp decline last season. Street had a 6.45 ERA, giving up

16 runs in 22.1 innings pitched. He missed a lot of time due to injury, but his mishaps occurred before the onslaught of setbacks. Street was susceptible to the long ball, as he gave up five in his limited action. Street currently resides on the disabled list with a strained lateral muscle.

Andrew Bailey, whom many viewed as a darkhorse for the closer job, will be teaming up with Bedrosian until Street returns. Bailey was another player, along with starter Ricky Nolasco, who benefitted greatly once being acquired by the Angels. In 33 games for the Phillies last season, Bailey had a 6.40 ERA. A change of scenery worked out in his favor, as he owned a 2.38 ERA once he packed his bags for Anaheim. Bailey is not the elite closer he once was, but at 32 he has the experience finishing games that Bedrosian does not.

Next: Bedrosian is Angels first option at closer

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. If Bedrosian balks at the pressure, Bailey will step in. If Bailey’s experience is not enough, Bedrosian will step in. Let us say neither of those work out. In that case, Halo fans pray that 2016 was just a fluke for Huston Street.