The Los Angeles Angels have been losing so many players to the disabled list over the past 2 months, but have hardly got anyone back. In the next few weeks that will change prompting some difficult decisions for manager Mike Scioscia.
Los Angeles Angels relievers Huston Street and Mike Morin have started rehab assignments for the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees in the past week and closer Cam Bedrosian is not far behind. When these three relievers are ready to return the Angels will have to make some decisions regarding their bullpen.
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First of all will Bud Norris remain as the team’s closer. The answer is most likely not. Although Norris has been pretty effective in his ninth inning role. Norris has converted nine out of 11 save opportunities going 1-2 with a 2.6 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP and 31 punch outs. Norris is holding opponents to a .169 batting average as well.
Norris definitely been impressive during the past six weeks as the closer, but he will almost assuredly return to the role as a long-man/possible 7th inning man when both Street and Bedrosian return.
Who will emerge as the team closer is anyone’s guess but most likely it will be Bedrosian, with Huston Street being the set-up man. Mike Morin will come back soon as well, but will there be a place for him in the Angels bullpen. Morin could also be optioned to Triple-A which is the most likely scenario.
So who will be the odd-men out when Street and Bedrosian come back. Most likely Keynan Middleton will be one of them, but who will be the other. My money would be on Deolis Guerra. He seems to come back strong just when you count him out. It’s not that he has pitched badly going 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA, however he is just the odd man out.
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The final man that is on the way back is third baseman Yunel Escobar who is close to being ready to run the bases which would be an important step in coming back from his left hamstring injury. There is no timetable for his return as of yet, but Escobar should be on track for a mid-June return.
We will see what happens when all of these “fallen” Angels return. Hopefully they will spark a winning streak and help the Angels climb up into contention. Let’s see what happens.