While everything else seems to be falling perfectly into place for the Los Angeles Angels, important questions loom. The Halos put last year’s surprise second-place finish in the American League West into the rearview mirror with the acquisition of Shohei Ohtani. However, there are still some doubts about the team picked “most likely to challenge the Houston Astros.” Specifically, they seem to have eight listed starters (though one is out recovering from Tommy John surgery) and no closer in a thin-looking bullpen. This isn’t a huge worry, of course. Spring training has yet to start, and the usual injuries, decline, and other complications will whittle down that roster of pitching, as it does every spring. The Angels have indicated that they’re planning to use a six-pitcher rotation, taking one spot from the average bullpen roster, but it’s a rare team that goes into spring training with only a seven-man pen. There is a legitimate question around the Angels’ closer — and whether the team should acquire one before April. On the current pitching staff, right-hander Blake Parker racked up the most saves in 2017, a princely sum of six. If the Angels decide to go with a determined closer, Parker seems like a decent candidate for the role. He had the best season of his career in 2017, holding an ERA under three over 67 1/3 innings, the second-most relief innings on the team, behind Yusmeiro Petit. Parker throws a fastball, a splitter, and a curve — a slightly unusual arsenal that might make him the best option for the dude batters least want to see at the end of a game. He also improved over the season while being responsible for the end of more games.
What will the Angels do about the closer role?
Fanrag Sports | Feb 12