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Joe Maddon reveals controversial plans for LA Angels' closer Raisel Iglesias in 2022

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Jul 28, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Raisel Iglesias, LA Angels
Jul 28, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Raisel Iglesias, LA Angels / Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
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LA Angels Manager Joe Maddon recently revealed interesting plans for how he plans to use elite closer Raisel Iglesias for the 2022 season:

There truly are two sides to this approach. On one hand, Iglesias is one of very few pitchers in baseball these days who can still pitch at a high level over more than just one inning. He's great at it, and should get the chance to continue exceling in the role he's best at.

That being said, Maddon has a method to this madness. As he said, it's important to keep Iglesias healthy considering the fact that they have a legit shot at the postseason this year. Last year, Maddon pitched Iglesias multiple innings when needed except for the last month-plus of the year, which was probably when Maddon accepted that this team looked like they weren't going to the playoffs. Now that this team can make it, he might as well use him sparingly to an extent.

Raisel Iglesias will be outstanding no matter what his role with the LA Angels is.

Raisel Iglesias was purely sensational in his first season with the LA Angels last year. Iglesias hit 34 saves, and recorded a 2.57 ERA. Posting a 174 ERA+, he also had an astonishing 0.929 WHIP on the season. Owning what is one of the best of the best fastballs in the American League, Iglesias fanned a career-high 13.2 batters per nine innings.

No matter how he is used, we know the Angels are going to get elite production out of him. He's right in the thick of the prime of his career. But like Maddon brought up, this bullpen is significantly better this season. It's what gives him the chance to even think about the playoffs this time around.

There are other guys who can pitch the eighth inning this season. Aaron Loup can, Ryan Tepera can, and Archie Bradley not only can but has even been a closer during his career. Even Bradley, who's the worst of the four, is still solid and has tons of experience pitching in multiple back-end roles.

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The Halos' bullpen is so much better this time around, and it's giving Maddon flexibility. Whether you agree with Maddon's strategy for Iglesias in 2022 or not, it's inarguable that the firepower that this pen brings gives Maddon the option, and having options is never a bad thing.

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