Angels manager Phil Nevin indicated to reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register) that the club would not be naming right-hander Carlos Estevez as the closer to open the season, instead opting for a committee approach to open the season. Estevez signed with the Angels earlier this offseason on a two-year deal and was expected to step into the closer role to open the season, but that does not appear to be the plan, at least for the start of the 2023 campaign.
Still, Nevin told reporters that Estevez “is definitely going to get some big outs late in the game most of the year for us,” leaving the door open to the right-hander remaining the conversation to close games for the Angels this season. The Angels have a fairly deep group of pitchers with late inning experience at the back of their bullpen in addition to Estevez that includes Ryan Tepera, Matt Moore, Aaron Loup and Jimmy Herget.
The Angels were aggressive in acquiring shorter-term assets this offseason in order to immediately improve the club during two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani’s final year of club control. The additions of Hunter Renfroe, Gio Urshela, and Brandon Drury lengthened the lineup and provided depth in case of injuries while the club signed Tyler Anderson to deepen the starting rotation. The additions of Estevez and Moore to the bullpen this offseason certainly improved upon the group of relievers the Angels would’ve otherwise had, but it’s an open question whether or not they did enough to make up for the still-lingering loss of Raisel Iglesias, who was dealt to the Braves at the last trade deadline.
More from around the AL West…
- Astros manager Dana Brown told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle and other reporters that extension conversations with outfielder Kyle Tucker and left-handed starter Framber Valdez are “on pause” for the time being. Brown noted that while it’s possible talks could restart during or after the season, Jose Altuve’s thumb surgery forced Brown to divert attention to other areas of the roster. Both Tucker and Valdez are under team control through the end of the 2025 season, giving the club plenty of time to revisit contract negotiations ahead of the duo’s pending free agency.
- Sticking with the Astros, the club was already expecting to be without left fielder Michael Brantley to start the season, but it now appears he’ll be out of action for longer than a minimum 10-day IL stint. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including Rome) that Brantley would join the team in Houston for World Series celebrations next week before returning to the club’s Florida facilities in order to continue his rehab and ramp-up process. Brantley missed most of the last season following shoulder surgery, but has been a consistent, quality bat for Houston when healthy, slashing .306/.368/.464 (128 wRC+) in 379 games since joining the organization in 2019. Jake Meyers figures to draw starts in center field while Brantley is absent, with Chas McCormick sliding over to left.
Herget looks good enough to be the likely closer for the Angels if they won’t use Estevez.
He had 5 Blown Saves in September a lone last season. Joyce is the only one remotely close to being a Closer in the Angels organization. But he needs time to get better command. So by mid May, the Angels will have a losing record and be 10 games back of the Astros. Because they won’t be able to hold a lead.
How did he blow saves? By pitching two innings?
Did he blow 9th inning saves, where he came in to get three outs?
This is part of my rant that Perry doesn’t know how to build a bullpen and Nevin doesn’t know how to manage a bullpen. This isn’t stratamatic baseball.
Cap & Crunch
Halo= Always tricky projecting pens but I like this Angels pen better than any of the past few years
Herget had 3 blown saves last year and Estevez had 4. Maybe you’re thinking of someone else?
You sir are obviously not an Angel Fan, Hergret blew 2 saves in Sept. The first came with runners on where he 2 strikeouts before walking in the winning run. The 2nd blown save was multiple innings in an extra inning game with no one else to bring in. Someone else would have blew that save.
As for Estevez, 1.4 whip does not make you a closer, or even bring in with runners on. He’s a clean start inning kind of guy. Needs room to be effectively wild
I have never been a fan of the closer by committee approach. This will likely only work for a while (if at all). Joyce has the makings of a closer, but he certainly hasn’t shown the best command. Command is something that plagues a lot of the taller pitchers like Joyce. It is difficult to repeat mechanics. Hopefully he figures it out sooner than later because those 105mph fastballs don’t last forever and the Angels need a closer.
Not completely sold on Herget just yet. We’ve had several journeymen that have a nice season and can’t replicate it (e.g., Hansel Robles, Frieri, Mayers, Blake Parker, Bud Norris, et al)
Herget is a different case than your typical one season wonders. He is completely different pitcher than he used to be. Two years ago he threw the 4 seam fastball 43.1%. Last year, his first year with the Angels, that went down to 17.1% and this year he threw it 2.9%. He learned the sweeper, which is all the rage currently in MLB and it has made him a much better pitcher. He went from primarily a fastball pitcher, which are four seam fastball and sinkers, which he threw 54.2% of the time two years ago to a breaking ball pitcher, which are the sliders and curve balls, which he threw 61%of the time last year.
It’s a treat to watch Michael Brantley hit. I hope he gets healthy soon.
I don’t see the Astros extending Tucker. I love the player, but I don’t see the team taking on that type of contract.
Framber is more possible because the commitment is shorter and because Latin players tend to be more open to extensions.
Astros manager is Dusty Baker, not Dana Brown who is the General Manager! Please do better!
The LAA will never win as long as Arte M. owns the club.
The only hope for L.A.A fans Is that he drop dead or maybe he give up and sell the club.
My guess Is that he makes a buck or two by owning and losing and holds on to the club.
Welcome to L.A.A Baseball 2023
Bro, you just repeated exactly what has happened previously. This comment is worthless.
Well let’s hope that Moreno had an epiphany when he decided to pull the Angels off the market. He could’ve positioned himself to make a ton of stress-free, future passive income off of a sale with the cash. If the Angels can compete this year, I’m leaning towards him finally spending on some pitching and making a real attempt at resigning Ohtani.
welcome to the playoffs, laa baseball 2023
Resigning Brantley was a head scratcher.
Ya, who wants a quality at bat with a grace and adored personality in the clubhouse on a one year deal. We should of gave Benintendi 75 million like the White Sox did.
Pretty sure Thickie commented what he did because Brantley can’t stay on the field. Just because you are in love with him doesn’t mean he should have been resigned.
Didn’t say anything about Benintendi. Astros went with younger versatile players in Brantley’s absence with success.
If your reasoning behind the Brantley resigning is “clubhouse presence”, why not resign Gurriel who’s better on defense, healthy, and actually played in the postseason superbly for $10MM less?
Dana Brown is not the Astros manager.
When there are two on and one out late in a game, that’s often more critical than starting a clean inning.
Esteves in those spots is fine by me.
If not Carlos Estevez, maybe Charlie Sheen?
I realize Iglesias was signed for 3 more yrs but his 17 mil salary for a top closer was not a bad deal. They essentially traded their 3rd best player and reliable closer for Matt Moore at 7.5 mil and Ryan Tepera at 7 mil and call it depth.And Tucker Davidson who may not make the team. Another thing too is a few of the free agents were signed to 2 year deala. If they were ever serious about going after Ohtani they would’ve cleared more money for next year.
If the Angels were serious about winning they would not have filed their roster with stopgap measures that will be gone after this season or next.
Skip- A lot of the players they signed were 1 year deals. Arte has gone on record as saying after 2026 Ohtani and Trout’s contract could be the only 2 long term contracts.. Unless something happens between now and then.
Imagine the resentment Trout has and will have of Ohtai. Trout is a notoriously obsessively competitive person who takes any type of competition way too seriously- even a game of ping pong or mini golf. Ohtani challenged him directly with multiple fastballs right down the middle and Trout didn’t have a chance- brutal. It was already 99% that Ohtani was leaving Anaheim after this season, now it’s definitely 100% that Ohtani is leaving. And the only reason Trout played in the WBC this year was out of desperation for some kind of championship now that reality has set in that he will never win one with Anaheim (that’s why he skipped the last 2 WBC’s yet decided to play in this one at 31 years old and in major decline), and yet he didn’t even get the consolation prize that is the WBC championship hahaha. Anaheim is a chump team and Ohtani is GONE after this season.
You are a comedy genius. Bravo.
PS. Super competitive people respect others that are the same.
Not when they make a complete fool out of them, like Ohtani did by throwing straight fastballs right down the middle multiple times to Trout that Trout had no chance against on the biggest possible international baseball stage. Brutal.
All any baseball fan can hope for from ownership is the willingness to spend money trying to field a championship team! Moreno has done that consistently over his 20 years of owning the Angels! The problem has been the players Eppler spent the money on! This is why finding the right GM is the key! Billy Eppler over paid for past their prime free agents and none of his draft picks panned out! 5 consecutive seasons of the wrong guy in charge killed their minor league system! Perry is spreading the money around so the talent level at all positions is much better! U can’t take over a dumpster fire and turn it around over night! Perry needs at least 4 seasons to remake the organisation! Farm system is improving and how we are spending Arte’s money is more bang for our buck now! Perry inherited Upton and Rendon’s contract so with those two plus Trout U we’re talking 100 million on three players! U can’t be competitive when half your payroll goes to 3 guys!
As a Marlins fan U wouldn’t be able to recognize a super star ball player because your team has never had one! Cabrera became one but that was long after the Marlins traded him to Detroit! U come on here and knock everyone else’s team because U know deep down inside your team sucks and has a zero chance of making the playoffs! Be happy for fans like myself that have been able to watch the two best players in the game on a daily basis!
Rotten- I wish I could give you 10 thumbs up for your post. lol
Marlin Fan- 31 years and in major decline? He hit 40 hr’s after missing 5 weeks last year. If The Angels are such a chump team, what does that make the Marlins? The current ownership has never signed a big time free agent. The previous ownership got the city of Miami to build a new ballpark. Once that was done he turned around and sold the team at major profit.
I think the real resentment here is your team sucks your in and year out. MLB most likely gave you the WBC so you can see what winning is like up close and personal.
Something you’ll never see with your Marlins.
That’s why Jeter bailed. And the only reason he was there is he was the point man for the current ownership to be taken seriously as ownership group.
I’m sure Mattingly bailed too because he’ knows the truth.
The only major aspect of Trout’s game that isn’t in major decline is HR power. No longer steals bases *at all* (used to be a superstar base stealer). No longer plays solid CF (was never great, aside from 2012, but used to be solid). BA has taken a major hit and last year was tied the lowest of his career. Durability is finished and now has a permanent and mostly untested back injury. OBP has taken a major hit and last year was the lowest of his career. Strikeout rate has climbed back up and last year’s rate was tied for the highest of his career. Hasn’t been a league leader in any category since 2019, while 2012-2019 he led the league in at least 1 meaningful category every single season. He’s in major decline and can be counted on for 3-5 WAR of actual production.
Untested back injury? He came back and finished the season with BANG!!!
He doesn’t steal bases as much due to fact in the past he suffered injuries. He doesn’t need to steal bases to win games. His job is to play a great CF (Which he does) Although he’s never won a GG. Trout does not have any resentment against Ohtani. Lay off the sauce.
And no sympathy in saying that and don’t care if he reads it. Criticism/pointing out decline goes along with the package of being paid more than half a billion dollars in career salary to play a game with a stick and a ball (only 7 months out of the year) and being paid by the public to do it. Mike Trout is a shell of the player he used to be and yes, the back injury is still mostly untested. Still haven’t seen how it plays out over the course of a full season.
Hey no one criticizes a Movie Star getting $30M to film a movie.And they can make 3 or 4 movies a year. There’s only a handful of athletes that can play that game at that level. And they can only do it that level for a short period.
Where as movie star can have a career 30+ years.
Trout gets paid well because he has a great skill set. Same as Ohtani.
Hatred is a ugly trait. Spew your venom on Trout and other players somewhere else.
Tell that to Trout, who publicly sided against the team with the POS albert pujols after he screamed at the manager in front of the entire team (even though he was still getting very regular playing time despite being a horrible ‘player’ for his final half decade in Anaheim).
Ahhh Marlins Fan. Even if you actually believed your own nonsense, you would jump for joy if Trout somehow made it to the Marlins’ roster, assuming the Marlins is actually your team.
If Anaheim covered at least $150 million of Trout’s remaining contract, then sure. Trout is still owed 8 years, $300 million and he is definitely not worth that at this point. In fact, he has lower trade value than the lowest rated prospect in baseball (assuming Anaheim didn’t cover any of his remaining salary in a trade), because only an idiot would give him an 8 year, $300 million contract at this point. Even if Trout were given away for nothing, it would still be stupid to take on the remainder of his contract.
The anonymity of the internet…
Don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but ok.
Part of the package of living as a public figure and being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to be a public figure is criticism of performance on message boards.
Right, so I don’t see what your post was referring to.
Marlins- Well I’m sure Trout was upset with the way it handled. From what I read management told Pujols he was going to have less playing time at 1B. I think Pujols felt he could still play a quality 1B.
I think things got heated and decided to let him go. He wasn’t a horrible player.
He was a horrible player for Anaheim from 2017-2021. Below replacement level every single year.
Quit worrying about Mike Trouts performance and concentrate on the performance of your pathetic Marlins! Before it is all said and done Mike will win a 3rd MVP award and the Marlins will do what?
You made all these posts on here and have ZERO thumps up so what does that say? Nobody agrees with anything U said…
Pujols thought he was still starting caliber, when he was released, I’m sure he got a dose of reality, because he accepted a split platoon, he wasn’t willing to do it wit the angels
Estevez is a middle reliever, and an erratic one. The other guys (Moore, Herget, Tepera, and Loup) are setup men at best. The lack of a high leverage bullpen will be their downfall. Too bad, since the rotation and position players are bettter than decent, if they can stay healthy.
Cptitan- I’m sure the Angels as other teams do are thinking his stats are skewed due to playing Colorado. And playng in SoCal where the night air is heavier thus have better results.
Adding Moore will make a big difference and having three lefthanders gives Nevin more flexibility to mix and match! Loosing Iglesias hurts but at 16 million per season he wasn’t worth that kind of money at 33 years of age! With three big contracts to fund the Angels have to get value out of every one else to be able to compete! Once Rendon is gone no more huge contracts for free agents that half the time are a bust! We are looking at almost 90 million for Trout and Ohtani alone!
Those funds are earmarked for resigning Ohtani!
I like this BP for the Angels, and if you believe this and it does come thru, the Sky’s the limit for this team.