Watson was put on the 10-Day IL with a calf strain on Sunday. The lefty hasn’t pitched since April 28, and the move was backdated for April 29. The Angels recalled right-hander James Hoyt from the team’s taxi squad just before the series finale against Seattle. Hoyt pitched to a 1.23 ERA, 1.159 WHIP, and 3.19 FIP in 14.2 innings with the Marlins last summer.
Both Mike Mayers and Tony Watson have been effective for the Angels bullpen.
Nearly 24 hours later, the Halos added Mayers to the IL without specifying an injury. Jeff Fletcher of The OC Register reports the team expects Mayers back in a few days. Fletcher went on to say the lack of specification could be because of COVID-19 contact tracing or possible side effects from the vaccine. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval was called up to take Mayers’ spot on the roster. Sandoval spent time as a starter and reliever in 2020 while posting a 5.65 ERA, 1.336 WHIP, and 5.92 FIP across 36.2 innings pitched.
Mayers and right-hander Felix Pena are the only holdovers from the Angels bullpen overhaul of the offseason. Pena has not pitched this season due to a hamstring injury and is currently on the 10-Day IL. Manager Joe Maddon recently said the right-hander is physically ready to return and he’s getting work in at the alternate site.
Both Watson and Mayers have each been two of the more effective arms in the Angels bullpen. Mayers’ 14 appearances are tied for the fourth-most in the majors among relievers this season.
- Watson (9 games, 8.1 IP): 1.08 ERA 0.720 WHIP (3.59 FIP)
- Mayers (14 games, 14.1 IP): 2.51 ERA 1.256 WHIP (4.79 FIP)
A reliable bullpen is critical to any team’s success, but I think you could put more emphasis on that concept for a team like the Angels who’ve had poor performances from their starting rotation for a majority of the season.
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Through 26 games, Halos starters have logged MLB’s second-fewest innings (121.1 IP), while posting the second-highest ERA in the majors (5.56) and 15th-lowest FIP (3.91).
If owner Arte Moreno and general manager Perry Minasian have no plans to improve the starting rotation, they need to consider adding another arm or two in the bullpen given how much they will be used this season should these trends continue.
The Halos ‘pen has been solid for the most part, posting a 4.28 ERA and 3.73 FIP while tossing the ninth-most innings (107.1 IP) in the majors this season. Even with the decent start, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as too many arms in a big-league bullpen.
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Any and all options should be explored. Roberto Osuna and Shane Greene are the two biggest names currently on the market, but there are no reports of the Angels being interested in either.
I don’t think there’s any denying either would be an upgrade for the Angels.