The Los Angeles Angels will be looking for a series win against Minnesota with 37.5% of their bullpen looking different. Three of the eight relievers in the Angels bullpen were sent down, and we have three new faces coming up for today's game.
Jimmy Herget, Zack Weiss, and Andrew Wantz are going down with Aaron Loup, Reyes Moronta, and Jacob Webb coming up. As much as the guys who were sent down have struggled, I don't think the guys coming up will be much better. Even with that being said, this had to be done.
LA Angels bullpen overhaul likely won't change anything but had to be done anyway
The Angels bullpen has its very clear good sides and very clear red flags. Both Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore have been very good late in games. When the Angels have a lead in the eighth or ninth, it feels safer than it has in years.
Another positive comes from Jaime Barria. Angels starters haven't been giving much length, and Barria has done a great job giving the Angels quality length and keeping them in games that seemed to be at one point out of reach.
Other than that, the Angels' bullpen has been pretty bad. Keeping the leads they have in the middle innings has been the worst part of this unit. They're tied for second in all of baseball in blown saves despite their two highest-leverage arms, Estevez and Moore, not blowing a single one.
The three moves the Angels made are to address this middle relief issue. Herget, Weiss, and Wantz have all struggled, while Webb and Moronta haven't gotten their chances at the MLB level yet.
While Herget hasn't allowed a run since his recall, he did allow a back-breaking hit on Friday night. The Angels came back to win it, but Herget hasn't looked sharp really all season. Weiss made two appearances this weekend for the Angels. He got an out in Friday's game and ended up being the winning pitcher, but struggled last night allowing a run on three hits while recording four outs.
Wantz was the Angels best reliever for a couple of weeks this season but has struggled mightily since being brought back from AAA. He's struggled to strand inherited runners and has recently struggled even in clean innings.
We've seen these struggles first hand this series. On Friday, Reid Detmers threw the ball extremely well but Herget couldn't get one big out. Yesterday, the Angels cut the Twins' lead to 4-2 when Andrew Wantz allowed two runs in the seventh to make a chance at a comeback that much more improbable.
The most intriguing new arm is Reyes Moronta. The veteran right-hander has a 3.02 ERA in 175 outings but has seen a velocity dip in recent years which is why he's only made 43 appearances since 2018 in the majors. Since signing a minor league deal with the Angels, he's made three appearances, and thrown four scoreless innings. In those frames, he's allowed just one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts. Can he stay as Chris Devenski has stayed?
After a good Spring Training, Jacob Webb has struggled in the minors this season, posting a 6.75 ERA in 16 appearances and 17.1 innings pitched. Like Moronta, he's had success at the MLB level.
The Angels needed to try something new, and this is doing just that. They'll continue to cycle through arms until they find the right combination. Eventually, if the Angels are competing, they'll need to address the bullpen at the deadline. For now, trying whoever you can is the right move.