Cleat Geeks

Who’s the Closer?

The Los Angeles Angels pitching staff has again been hit hard by injuries in the young 2017 season. The bullpen has been hit especially with four pitchers going on the DL, including all three of their potential closers.

The Los Angeles Angels, as a result pulled the trigger Monday night to acquire the right handed David Hernandez from the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later.
Hernandez had started the season with Atlanta’s Triple A team. However, with his trade to the Los Angeles Angels the reliever immediately joined the team’s bullpen. While he is the owner of a career 4.10 ERA, Hernandez has had some success at the MLB level. Just last season he appeared in 70 games for the Philadelphia Phillies with a 3.84 ERA and 80 strikeouts.
Three of the four Angels relievers on the DL since spring training are Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian,and Andrew Bailey who were all tagged to anchor the Angels bullpen. Instead, all three are on the DL. along with reliever Mike Morin was also placed on the DL as well last week.
While Bailey and Bedrosian woes appear to be small, nagging injuries, Street was moved to the 60-day DL where he is joined by starting pitcher Garrett Richards. Two more starting pitchers, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano are recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in 2016. Vicente Campos was also just activated and immediately sent to Triple A Salt Lake after having rehabbed at High Single-A.
In addition, Daniel Wright, who had started Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays was optioned back to Triple A Salt Lake to make room on the 25-man roster for Hernandez.

With All That Being Said, Who Should Close?

What about Bud Norris? Norris coming into May 1st, 2017 has converted 4-4 in save opportunities. Norris was once an ace of a pitching staff in Houston with 3-4 quality pitches to his arsenal and eating up innings. This change of scenery for Norris could prove to be a boost to his confidence and the Angels’. This could provide depth within and could possibly all the Angels to catch lighting in a bottle. Norris is new to this role but is a proven major leaguer and I believe is a better option right now, than bringing up a 95-100MPH arm, from the minors, that doesn’t know where the ball is going.

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