Correct me if I’m wrong, but I am pretty sure that I have been saying since mid-June that the Angel bullpen is a disaster waiting to happen. Or did I start saying that in May? I can’t remember. Either way, I’m right and the Angels were wrong for not fixing it when they had the chance.
The Angels could have gone a lot of ways at the deadline, getting a bona fide stud close like Heath Bell, an elite setup man like Mike Adams or just a solid but unspectacular arm like Rafael Betancourt. Any of these players would have come in handy tonight. Having Heath Bell at closer could have prevented the Jays from tagging the good, but often streaky, Jordan Walden for the game tying run. Having Mike Adams would have allowed Scott Downs to be available in extra innings rather than choke-artist extraordinaire Hisanori Takahashi. Having Rafael Betancourt would have at least spared us from seeing Fernando Rodney pitch in a tied game.
Alas, Tony Reagins was either incapable or unwilling to acquire any of those guys or anyone similar, thus the Angels are stuck with the Bullpen of Woe. A bullpen that has little to no chance of improving from within and will surely cost the Angels a few more games down the stretch, not exactly an ideal situation for a team that now finds itself on the cusp of falling out of their divisional race.
- I fail to see how Mike Scioscia can trust Fernando Rodney in a close game anymore. Fraudney hasn’t been able to find the strike zone since he returned from the disabled list and is not likely to suddenly figure it out anytime soon. I can’t say I feel much better about Rich Thompson at this point, but he absolutely HAS to move ahead of Fraudney on the depth chart. Honestly, I really do believe the Angels would release Rodney right now if they actually had someone in the minors to take his roster spot.
- The hope has to be that this meltdown will prompt the front office into adding some kind of help to the pen via the waiver trade process ASAP. But even if they pull the trigger on something in the next 24 hours, it is might already be too late. Rodney has played a prominent role in two losses in this last week and those are two losses that could screw them in the standings with how close this race might end up being.
- Bourjos doesn’t walk enough and swings and misses way too much, but after today, I think he is goign to start seeing a fair amount of time at leadoff. He hits lefties very well and has been on fire this month, so Scioscia is very wise to ride him while he can, especially since Erick Aybar apparently forgot how to hit (again).
Sorry, Waldo, but you melted down before Fraudney did. Plus, the Angels now have to be feeling pretty shaky about your performance headed into the most crucial stretch of the season. Ugh.