The LA Angels finally get their man to anchor the bullpen
By David Rice
The LA Angels have pretty much struck out on almost every free agent they have pursued this off-season especially closers. Billy Eppler and the Angels finally got their man late Thursday night signing Cody Allen.
Many pundits of the LA Angels during this off-season were quieted a little bit as the Angels filed one of their biggest holes Thursday night signing a bona fide closer in former Indian Cody Allen. Some may say the Angels overpaid for Allen considering he was coming off an abysmal season that saw his ERA ballon 4.70 in 2018 after being below three for the previous five seasons.
Allen has stuck out 564 batters in 440 innings of work and has a career 1.19 WHIP AND has allowed opponents only a .219 batting average. Allen has converted 149 saves in 172 chances during his career. Allen anchored one of the majors best bullpens in Cleveland teaming up with left-handed stalwart Andrew Miller. Allen is that missing piece the Angels have been looking for. The Angels blew 26 saves last season which is one of the major reasons they finished out of the playoffs.
The Angels now have their first bonafide closer since Huston Street back in 2015 before he got injured recording 40 saves that season. The last couple of seasons it has been a revolving door at the closer spot with 8 different players getting a shot at the role. Joe Smith, Cam Bedrosian, Fernando Salas, Andrew Bailey, Bud Norris, Keynan Middleton, , Blake Parker, and Ty Buttery.
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Three of those aforementioned players will be in the bullpen mix for 2019. Signing Allen and then plugging in Buttery and Bedrosian in the back end of the bullpen along with newly acquired John Curtiss, Luis Garcia, and then Noe Ramirez, and of course Justin Anderson who will probably serve as Allen’s primary set-up man. Keynan Middleton will also be added to the mix once he comes back close to mid-season will make the bullpen even stronger.
The only issue the Angels have now in the bullpen is that they have no proven lefty specialist since Jose Alvarez was curiously traded to the Phillies for Luis Garcia. The only lefties on the 40-man roster are newly acquired Dillon Peters and also Williams Jerez who the Angels got in the Ian Kinsler trade with Boston on July 31st.
A wild-card in this mix could be Westminster’s own Greg Mahle who pitched for the Angels in 2016. Mahle has bounced around the Angels minor league system and seems to be getting back to his mojo back last season in Salt Lake City.
The Angels have been rumored to interested in two San Francisco relievers with one being a lefty. So it is still possible that the Angels may still not be done making more deals to strengthen the pen. If the Angels make no more additions to the bullpen here is what the roles could look like when the season starts.
Angels Possible Bullpen Roles:
6th inning – Cam Bedrosian/Noe Ramirez
7th Inning – Ty Buttery
8th Inning/Set-Up Man – Justin Anderson
Closer – Cody Allen
Lefty Specialist – Williams Jerez/Dillon Peters
Best of the Rest – Luis Garcia, Taylor Cole, and John Curtiss
So let’s see how the things pan out in the Spring as there always seems to be a surprise person who makes the team out of Spring Training. Also when Keynan Middleton and even J.C.Ramirez could both head to the pen to strengthen it near mid-season.