For the first half of last season, the LA Angels relievers were a rock solid group, led by a resurgent Hansel Robles.
As the season wore on for the LA Angels though, it seemed like reliever after reliever was faltering due to being overworked. That never seemed to be the case from Hansel Robles, as he finished with a strong enough season to be the team’s Nick Adenhart Award winner, given to the team’s best pitcher.
Now, the LA Angels need the team to take a step in 2020, and Hansel Robles needs to make the leap into the MLB’s elite as well.
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To be the best reliever on a 90 loss team is one thing, but to be the best reliever on a playoff team obviously requires a much higher level of production. And the Angels will need that from Robles.
Before coming to Anaheim, Robles was an average reliever in New York. However, the chance of scenery has done wonders for him as he saw immediate success upon his arrival. So far in his Angels career, he owns a 2.64 ERA and is the team’s unrivaled closer going into 2020.
But the Angels need another step from Robles. With the team expecting to contend next season, they’re going to need everyone on the team to be the best versions of themselves as baseball players. In the bullpen, the Angels have a nice group of relievers on paper. Robles is joined by Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, and any potential free agent signings as the main group in the bullpen.
On paper, they’re all solid pitchers. However, every bullpen that finds themselves in the playoffs has THAT reliever. The one who the team has in their back pocket to utilize at the first threatening. moment.
Obviously Robles can’t prove he’s that type of pitcher in the regular season. However, he needs to pitch at the level so that Joe Maddon trusts him in that exact spot should the Angels make the playoffs.
Simply put, the Angels need Hansel Robles to be their best reliever this season, and one of the best in the American League. If he does that, he’ll be a true weapon for the Angels in the playoffs.