The LA Angels bullpen was solid in 2017, however going into 2018 there are a few key pieces that will be missing. Closer Bud Norris & set-up man Yusmeiro Petit have signed elsewhere.
This season the LA Angels will have a new closer to start the season, but many of the other parts of the bullpen are still intact from last season with some new roles. Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, and Kenyan Middleton will all return in 2018, but the question will be in what capacity they will do so.
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One of those three will likely be the closer to start the season with other two battling it out for the 7th and 8th and set-up roles. Newcomer Jim Johnson and his 176 saves will also be in the bullpen mix. One other reliever that could win a spot is Noe Ramirez.
Ramirez was claimed off waivers by the Angels in late August from Boston and he pitched in 10 games with a 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings. Ramirez has continued to pitch well this Spring pitching in four games and giving up only two hits in four innings with a 0.00 ERA and five strikeouts.
Ramirez earned his first save of the Spring Monday as he closed out the Angels 7-5 victory over the Cincinati Reds with a scoreless 9th inning striking out one batter. Ramirez has pitched in parts of three season for the Red Sox and Angels pitching 39 innings with an ERA of 4.38. Ramirez’s biggest issue is his control as he has walked 20 batters in those 39 innings.
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The Angels are hoping Noe Ramirez will continue to pitch well and join their bullpen in 2018. Ramirez is 28 years old so he is just coming into his prime and could be a key cog for the Angels. The only question will be where/if Ramirez will fit in to the Angels bullpen mix.
With the Angels planning on going with a six-man rotation, the bullpen will have one less spot if that is the case. With that being said Ramirez may unfortunately be the odd-man out we will have to wait and see what happens throughout this month.
Hopefully we will see Noe Ramirez in Anaheim come April.