Assuming all four of these relievers make the opening day roster for the LA Angels, that elite group would look something like this: Iglesias, Loup, Tepera, Bradley, Warren, Mayers, Ramos, Buttrey.
Ramos and Buttrey are probably the only ones without guaranteed spots as they will compete these next few weeks with Andrew Wantz, Jose Quijada, Janson Junk, Packy Naughton, Elvis Peguero, and either Reid Detmers or Jaime Barria (depending on who loses the rotation battle), all of whom are young and full of potential.
Talk about a good problem to have. After all, when was the last time the LA Angels had more than a dozen viable major league arms all vying for spots in the bullpen?
Armed with an elite bullpen, the LA Angels are finally looking like real playoff contenders.
If these eight do end up on the opening day roster, that would give the LA Angels arguably the best bullpen in baseball. Just look at their past ERAs and 2022 projections and you'll see this isn't just hyperbole.
- Iglesias: 3.06 (Career), 2.57 (2021), 2.80 (2022 ZiPS), 3.30 (2022 Steamer)
- Loup: 3.05 (Career), 0.95 (2021), 3.50 (2022 ZiPS), 3.81 (2022 Steamer)
- Tepera: 3.48 (Career), 2.79 (2021), 4.35 (2022 ZiPS), 4.12 (2022 Steamer)
- Bradley: 2.98 (Career*), 3.71 (2021), 4.19 (2022 ZiPS), 4.69 (2022 Steamer)
- Warren: 1.77 (Career), 1.77 (2021), 4.55 (2022 ZiPS), 4.31 (2022 Steamer)
- Mayers: 4.43 (Career*), 3.53 (2021*), 3.82 (2022 ZiPS), 4.10 (2022 Steamer)
- Ramos: 3.04 (Career), 0.00 (2021), 5.36 (2022 ZiPS), 5.03 (2022 Steamer)
- Buttrey: 4.30 (Career), n/a (2021), 3.76 (2022 ZiPS), 4.09 (2022 Steamer)
*Only including relief appearances
That’s six guys with career ERAs below 3.50 and seven guys with ERAs below 4.00 in 2021. Obviously, relievers tend to be very volatile year to year, making the projections a bit finicky, but for conservative estimates these are still pretty good.
With such an elite and deep bullpen, combined with one of baseball’s best offenses, the Angels are legitimate postseason threats right now. Even with a thin and injury-prone starting rotation, this bullpen should be more than capable of picking up the slack.
It may have been a long wait, but for once Angels fans can actually rejoice in seeing their front office actually invest in serious relief pitching talent. Now if we could just sign another quality starter.