What the Angels can do about their bullpen …

Well, right now, not much.

The Angels’ bullpen is a concern, no doubt. And it will be an even greater concern if it turns out Scott Downs has to miss more time with a right ankle injury (that doesn’t appear to be the case at the moment).

But what is there to do?

Free-agent lefty Mike Gonzalez? He walks a whole lot of batters and wants a whole lot of money, which is why he’s still unemployed. I heard that during the offseason, the Angels offered him the same Minor League contract Jason Isringhausen wound up taking, but he wanted no part of it.

A trade? In April, there isn’t a single club that (A) wants to trade relievers or (B) has relievers to trade.

The Angels will have to work with what they have. They designated righty Rich Thompson for assignment for a couple of reasons: 1. His velocity is way down this year and they know they can’t trust him in high-leverage situations; 2. They wanted to bring up the young David Carpenter so they’d have at least one ground-ball pitcher in their relief corps. A source close to the situation said the Angels will try to trade Thompson before placing him on waivers (no takers so far), and if not, hope he clears so he can at least stay in their system.

Angels relievers gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings on Sunday (two of which came on a Raul Ibanez home run off Isringhausen that hasn’t landed yet) and have a 5.34 ERA so far this season.

One thing to keep in mind, though: This bullpen will start to look a lot better when the starters start providing more depth. The ‘pen was never built to pick up as many innings as it has had to in recent days. Heck, Jordan Walden hasn’t even had a save chance yet.

So, the best thing for this ailing bullpen may be Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, C.J. Wilson and Jerome Williams.

There’s nothing else out there anyway.

Alden

20 Comments

thank you. That’s what I’ve been thinking. This is a solid relief corps that has been heavily taxed by bad outings from the Santana, Haren, and Williams. I think Carp pitched really well and should stick; meanwhile, Hawkins and Isringhausen have been fairly solid and will continue to be so, as long as the starters start picking up the slack.

TAKAHASHI of all of them needs to go! I don’t think he has come in relief once this season so far and not allow a run or two or three… GET RID OF HIM!

No Offense to Takahashi or anything, but he definitely needs to be traded. I agree with you. Takahashi just comes in and gives up runs. We need someone different.

Maybe you could trade him to Baltimore fro Kevin Gregg?

I agree, this bullpen isnt all that bad at the back end with Downs, Hawkins and Walden but out middle and long relief needs to improve, we need to cut the cord on Takahashi, he blows close games and he makes large defecits even larger everytime he comes in.Jepsen and Thompson are just horrible at times and can not be trusted in big situations. I dont know how much confidence I have in Izzy, but for right now he is better than most options I think him and Carpenter can be our 6th and 7th inning guys and Hawkins and Downs our 8th inning or close game situation guys. The key is going to be getting guys like Santana and Haren to go longer than 4 or 5 innings and us holding the lead. We have looked pretty bad to start this season but in all fairness its the first 9 games, nothing to commit roster suicide over, we just need to get our guys comfortbale and working on all cylinders and we’ll be back atop the AL West in no time !!!

Based on what we have seen so far, I am confident that Dipoto is hard at work trying to solve the situation personnel-wise. One thing I have said time and again is that we need a stronger pitching coach. Scoscia has to handle both manager and pitching coach duties. While I don’t doubt his qualifications in either role, trying to handle both is asking too much. We need him to concentrate solely on being the manager and get another Bud Black to handle the pitchers.

Take-a-sh*tty is killing us.

Agree with everyone about Takahashi. Alas, he’s left handed so he’s probablly going to get a long leash. Hopefully Bobby Cassevah comes back soon and brings some stability to the pen.

It is sad to think that our best bet for establishing stability in this ‘pen is Bobby Cassevah. We have 100 years of experience out there and you are looking to a young kid to provide stability?

Agree 100% there. Thats what I am thinking

Bring Richards back up and plug him in the 5th spot. Williams can b a long reliever.

It’s frustrating to say the least.
I think that everyone is probably right about Takahashi – if he can be moved, do it.
I’m not sold on Jepson either, and would like to see both of them pitching for other teams. Trade bait – either one plus Abreu and cash. Something has to give – let’s right the ship.

What troubles me the most about all of this is that the team’s in basically the same situation they were in last season. Hawkins and Izzy were not and are not the answers. The bullpen leaves a hole in this ballclub big enough to drive a truck through, and it’s been that way since the start of last season. This is the issue that should have been addressed in the offseason. It doesn’t matter how many homeruns are being hit or how many runs are produced if the pitching staff is giving up more runs than the offense is scoring. Pujols didn’t make the bullpen better, and his bat can’t singlehandedly make up the runs that they give up. I really don’t think DiPoto made this team better this offseason, and it’s a shame considering how much money he spent.

Time to let Takahashi go and bring Brad Mills, he had a great spring let’s give him a shot.

There’s no doubt the bullpen is a real weak spot … as it was last year, even when the starters go deep. But I’m also concerned that if we keep shifting the line-up players aren’t going to be able to settle in … and while we’ve gotten used to it under Scioscia, it’s just not going to work. And that’s part of a bigger problem, there’s little continuity and the team seems much to uptight (even in these early stages). Is Scioscia too much of a control freak? Sure he’s a brilliant baseball mind, but so is Joe Maddon, but he’s got a looser more productive team (with none of the names).

I think this, too, is a result of the offseason moves. The team now has three guys who can play first base (although, admittedly, one is going to be DHing because of injury), one guy who plays 3rd well but has an average bat and one who has an average glove at 3rd but incredible power potential (and his glove could improve, not taking that away from him). There’s also Trout who’s at AAA showing everyone he deserves to be in the bigs, but too many outfielders in the lineup to bring him up (saw him when they played Tacoma and he was ripping the cover off the ball). Abreu needs to be dealt with. If he was released, it wouldn’t be the first time the Angels paid a player to play for another team (or in GMJ’s case, watch baseball from his couch). Wells could ride the pine (big $ on the bench, but his paycheck isn’t getting any hits, either), while Trout slaps the ball out of the park and gives the outfield some crazy speed and range. I hope that the front office doesn’t wait till the break to “see how things go”. They need to make up for what they didn’t do this winter sooner rather than later.

Trevor Bell had a very good spring, is doing well in AAA and had a really respectable 3.41 era last year, seems like help is a phone call away !

These guys could not yet the job done last year, and they are worse this year. It’s time to look to Salt Lake and LIttle Rock. It cannot get any worse.

Love Izzy but he never pitches well on Sunday. He needs to be off-limits on that day.

Ok, ok, calm down. Obviously we are still figuring out who is really going to contribute to the ‘pen and who is not. They let Thompson go, placed on waivers. That’s harsh, but shows they aren’t going to baby these guys. Scioscia is still figuring out who to put in and when, and by now he knows there is no inning that Takahashi fits in, lefty or not. Let the manager manage. I think Jepsen may be decent enough, and we have 3 guys that can shut you down in Hawkins, Downs, and Walden. Izzy will be a 6th inning guy most likely, although I find that thought haunting and would prefer Jepsen. The rest of the games, we are already gonna be behind, so let Mike sort out who picks up the junk innings. I’m sure he knows it should be some young pups.

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