What the Angels can do about their bullpen …
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.