The LA Angels have had to rely on their bullpen a lot over the past couple of seasons. The bullpen performed admirably in 2017 despite the high workload, but last year it broke down due to the same high workload.
One of the most important areas that the LA Angels needed to address this off-season was improving its bullpen. Angels general manager Billy Eppler took the task seriously and went out and added multiple arms including a proven closer. The Angels are hoping that the arms they added in the off-season plus the relievers they already had last season will fortify the bullpen for the long haul this season.
Toward the end of last season the Angels acquired Ty Buttery and Williams Jerez from Boston in an exchange for Ian Kinsler. Buttery looked strong in the end of last season and Jerez showed some promise as well. In the Winter the Angels acquired reliever Luis Garcia from the Phillies in exchange for Jose Alvarez. Garcia is a power arm that could provebvaluable in the back of the bullpen.
The Angels also acquired John Curtiss from the Twins and Dillion Peters from the Marlins, both of which can be key arms in the bullpen. The team also signed lefty reliever Dan Jennings from the Brewers to compete with Peters and Jerez for the lefty specialist role.
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Returning for the Angels are set-up man Justin Anderson, Noe Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian, Hansen Robles, and Taylor Cole to give the bullpen some depth. The Angels could also add Felix Pena, and J.C. Ramirez, the latter is coming back from an injury mid-season and could either be in the starting rotation or in the bullpen.
As for the closer role Cody Allen is the closer and has done a great job the last couple years for Cleveland and hopefully Allen will do the same in the future for the Angels. The Angels will also get fireballer Kenyan Middleton back mid-season to add to the bullpen mix.
The Angels will probably go with at most 12 pitchers, but it could be less depending on what manager Brad Ausmus decides. Unlike in previous seasons though the cupboard will not be bare when he calls.
Many of the most recent championship teams had very strong bullpens backing their starting rotation. This seems to be the way to go and the Angels finally have enough strong arms to match up with some of the league’s elite teams. Let’s hope.