The LA Angels have been within two games of .500 for nearly two months straight now. The bullpen has been relied on heavily to win games. Two relievers for the Angels should be heading to Miami for the All-Star Game, but instead they’ll be sitting at home.
The LA Angels bullpen has been the team’s best unit this year. Even with injuries, players have stepped into new roles and some have excelled. Most notably, Bud Norris has been great in the closer role. Blake Parker has also been the Halos best reliever on the season. Outside of shortstop Andrelton Simmons (and Mike Trout, who will not be participating), no other Angels deserve to be playing in the All Star Game more than these two.
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Bud Norris was not even being considered for the closer role going into Spring Training. However, after favorite Cam Bedrosian, incumbent Huston Street, and dark horse Andrew Bailey all hit the DL, Norris took over. He has ran with it ever since, with a 2.29 ERA on the year. He has 12 saves in 14 opportunities, and has given up only two home runs on the season. Hitters have a .188 batting average against him. He performs well against lefties and righties both, as they have .158 and .211 batting averages against Norris, respectively. Even with Bedrosian returning from the DL, Norris has still earned save opportunities.
However, with flamethrowers like Arnoldis Chapman and control artists such as Andrew Miller in the American League, Norris was not able to earn an invite.
Blake Parker has been even better for the LA Angels. While his role is not as important as the closer, Parker has been used as the Halos main middle reliever, getting most of his work in the sixth and seventh innings. On the year, he has a 2.17 ERA and holds opposing batters to a .193 average. However, in the sixth and seventh inning, Parker’s ERA improves to a 1.61 and the batters he faces own a miniscule .135 batting average.
However, middle relievers rarely ever get All Star Game invites. Even with Parker’s insane numbers and huge contributions, the lack of recognition his role warrants is what kept in at home this season.