3 Angels players who stepped up big in April
The Los Angeles Angels had some good moments, some bad moments, and some ugly moments in the month of April. The team currently sits at 15-14. Should they be better? Absolutely. Fortunately, it is a long season, and if the Angels can just stop getting out of their own way, this team can be good.
While the Angels have cost themselves multiple games due to mental errors and bone-headed managerial decisions, there're also players who performed poorly and really need to step up in May.
Looking at this from a glass-half-full perspective, the Angels are indeed above .500. A place they haven't finished a season at since 2015. They'd be just one game outside of the playoff picture if the season ended today. A big reason the Angels have managed to stay afloat despite those underperforming players, mental errors, and managerial issues is because of these three players.
1) LA Angels reliever Carlos Estevez has been dynamite late in games
The bullpen has been an issue at times this season for the Angels. Aaron Loup continues to prove he shouldn't be anywhere near a close game. Jose Quijada continues to be great or awful with no in-between. Jimmy Herget was so bad to the point he was sent down to the minors after being the Angels best reliever last season.
With relievers you really never know what you're going to get. When the Halos signed Loup and Ryan Tepera last season, they expected two elite reievers. They certainly gave them elite-level money. Both of these veterans have been wildly disappointing for the Angels, and have proven to be nothing more than middle relievers at best.
When the Angels signed Carlos Estevez I felt like it was a good move at the time as his numbers were always good outside of Colorado and I felt that his stuff would play up in Anaheim. While it was a gamble to make Estevez the big reliever signing, it's worked wonders so far.
After a brutal Spring Training, Estevez has been money for Phil Nevin late in games. He's allowed three runs (two earned) in 13 appearances and 13.2 innings of work. He has six saves and has tacked on two holds as well, as Nevin uses Estevez in both the eighth and ninth inning depending on matchups.
The right-hander has allowed runs in just two of his 13 appearances this season and has a 1.32 ERA. His strikeouts are way up from where they were each of his last two seasons in Colorado, and he looks primed for a career year in 2023.