The Los Angeles Angels have a lot of live arms for the pen in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 25 March 2011 at 12:39 pm

The Los Angeles Angels have a pretty good mix of youth and experience in the pen for 2011. 35-year old righty Fernando Rodney will be the closer when the 2011 begins. He pitched in 72 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 4-3 with 14 saves, a 4.24 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Rodney has now pitched in 380 games (0 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 19-33 with 84 saves, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Rodney doesn’t have a lock on the closer’s job though so he will have to produce when called upon to keep his gig.

23-year old righty Jordan Walden comes into this year as the Angels’ #5 prospect according to Baseball America. Walden pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Angels in his first taste of the majors last year and he was 0-1 with 1 save, a 2.35 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He had 23 whiffs in only 15 1/3 innings for the Angels last year but he also walked 7 batters which is a little too many. He will likely be first in line to replace Rodney at closer if he has any issues. Walden also pitched in 44 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 1-1 with 8 saves, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

35-year old lefty Scott Downs will start the season on the D.L. with a broken toe, but he will have a big role at the back end of the pen when he gets healthy. Downs pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Blue Jays last year and he was 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has now pitched in 379 games (50 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 27-28 with 16 saves, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

35-year old lefty Hisanori Takahashi could serve as the long man in the pen, a spot starter or he could work in short relief for the Angels in 2011. Takahashi pitched in 53 games (12 starts) for the Mets last year and he was 10-6 with 8 saves, a 3.61 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Takahashi had 114 whiffs in his 122 innings last year which shows what kind of stuff he has. He will have a big role in some capacity with the Angels in 2011.

26-year old righty Kevin Jepsen still has a big time arm. He pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Jepsen has now pitched in 131 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Angels and he is 8-9 with 1 save, a 4.43 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. He will likely be working in the early and middle innings for the Angels this year.

26-year old righty Michael Kohn comes into this year as the Angels’ #15 prospect heading into this year according to Baseball America. Kohn pitched in 24 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.11 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. He whiffed 20 batters in 21 1/3 innings for the Angels last year but he also walked 16 batters which is way too many. Kohn also pitched in 41 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 5-4 with 11 saves, a 2.15 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

32-year old righty Jason Bulger is still around. He pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 0-0 with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Bulger has now pitched in 111 games (0 starts) in his first five years with the Angels and he is 6-1 with 1 save, a 4.51 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He has 122 whiffs in only 113 1/3 innings for the Angels but he has walked 60 batters which is way too many.

29-year old righty Francisco Rodriguez pitched in 43 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 1-3 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He has good stuff but he was a tad wild last year as he walked 26 batters in only 47 1/3 innings. He will need to improve his control if he wants to pitch for the Angels in 2011.

27-year old righty Rich Thompson might wind up being a late bloomer for the Angels. He pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. Thompson has now pitched in 35 games (0 starts) in his first four years with the Angels and he is 2-0 with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

25-year old righty Bobby Cassevah comes into this year as the Angels’ #24 rated prospect according to Baseball America. He pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Cassevah also pitched in 45 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 3-4 with 5 saves, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS BULLPEN IN 2011: C+

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