LA Angels need to take advantage of flexible bullpen

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The LA Angels made two more moves to solidify their bullpen by adding Archie Bradley and Ryan Tepera recently. These moves come after still having some questions surrounding shortstop and possibly adding a starter for more depth, but after seeing the bullpen acquisitions, it might make more sense that they're done adding pitching. Of course, adding more depth isn't a bad thing, but if the Angels are truly done adding, they could work around that by playing the bullpen the right way.

Bradley and Tepera give LA Angels Manager Joe Maddon options.

The LA Angels really had to juggle the bullpen a lot in 2021, mixing and matching certain players in order to help out a starting pitching staff that was struggling. In the end, they wound up with a 4.59 ERA last season which was good for 24th ranked in MLB. However, that didn't come without some bright spots that were discovered.

We know Iglesias was the dominant closer for the Angels, but we also got to look at Mike Mayers find some success by finishing with an ERA+ of 117 and Austin Warren who finished with an ERA+ of 256. You add in some success with Jansen Junk, the return of Jose Quijada, Aaron Loup with a remarkable 422 ERA+ in 56.2 innings of work and now Bradley and Tepera, and you have the makings of what could be an effective bullpen. Tepera is the biggest get for the Angels as he went 61.1 innings pitched with an ERA+ of 155. All of this sums up to be great options for Maddon to play with in order to get the ball to Iglesias for the 9th.

LA Angels could survive without another starter.

So let's say the LA Angels are done adding for the sake of seeing where they stack up in the rotation and the bullpen. The rotation looks better than a year ago with Syndergaard and Lorenzen, and the young starting pitching all fighting for rotation spots, two of them seemingly locked up by Sandoval and Suarez the way things turned out last year. Ohtani will of course get his starts when he can, so that realistically leaves one more rotation spot if they go with a 6-man rotation. The rest will have to either settle with becoming relievers or being sent down.

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Right now Reid Detmers looks to grab that last spot, but things can quickly change depending on the situations. Barria would have to settle to become the long inning reliever which isn't a bad option considering he barely finished with an ERA+ under 100 which is league average. If he can figure some things out, the Angels could go without adding another starter and wait to see who can fill in that veteran presence as it seems to be a void right now.