The Angels will likely use both lefty Brian Fuentes and righty Fernando Rodney to save games in 2010. Fuentes pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 1-5 with 48 saves, a 3.93 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. In his 9 years in the majors, Fuentes has pitched in 503 games (0 starts) in which he is 18-32 with 163 saves, a 3.47 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Fuentes has only allowed 396 hits while whiffing 526 batters in 477 major league innings showing how truly nasty he can be. Manager Mike Scioscia’s faith in Fuentes teetered at times last season hence the signing of Fernando Rodney.
33-year old righty Fernando Rodney will likely get his fair share of save opportunities in 2010. He pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Tigers last season and he was 2-5 with 37 saves, a 4.40 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Rodney walked 41 batters in only 75 2/3 innings so he will have to improve his control before Scioscia truly trusts him late in games.
34-year old righty Scot Shields is healthy this spring and he could give the Angels a huge boost in 2010. Shields pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 1-3 with 1 save, a 6.82 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. He has now pitched 9 years for the Angels appearing in 448 games (14 starts) in which he is 46-41 with 21 saves, a 3.03 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. If Shields stays healthy in 2010 the Angels will have a very deep pen.
31-year old righty Jason Bulger really stepped up last season for the Angels. He pitched in 64 games (0 starts) in which he was 6-1 with 1 save, a 3.56 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He only gave up 46 hits last season in 65 2/3 innings while whiffing 68 batters showing just how nasty he was last year. The Angels need him to keep up the good work in 2010.
30-year old righty Brian Stokes also has a really good arm. He pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Mets last season and he was 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Stokes needs to tighten up his control to be effective in the American League as he walked 38 batters in only 70 1/3 innings and that is way too many.
25-year old righty Kevin Jepsen will be the kid of this pen. He pitched in 54 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 6-4 with 1 save, a 4.94 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Jepsen has a good arm so he has the upside to help the Angels’ pen in 2010 and beyond.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2010: B