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OC Register: Angels 2023 spring training position preview: bullpen


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Angels pitchers and catchers are scheduled for their first workout of the spring on Feb. 15, with a smattering of other players who are on World Baseball Classic Rosters also in attendance. As we count down to the opening of camp, we’re analyzing the various position groups on the roster. Today, the bullpen. Previously: outfielders, infielders, catchers, starting pitchers.

2022 RECAP

The Angels invested heavily in the bullpen but it didn’t work out. Last winter they re-signed closer Raisel Iglesias and added free agent lefty Aaron Loup and righties Ryan Tepera and Archie Bradley. All told, they committed more than $28 million of their 2022 payroll to those four pitchers. All four proved to be disappointments, and the Angels traded Iglesias with a 4.04 ERA in early August. (Iglesias then posted a 0.34 ERA with the Atlanta Braves.) Loup (3.84 ERA) and Tepera (3.61) both pitched poorly early in the season when the Angels fell out of the race and then improved. Bradley was hurt for most of the season. The best story in the Angels’ bullpen was right-hander Jimmy Herget, who the Angels had picked up in 2021 after he was released by the Texas Rangers. Herget pitched to a 2.48 ERA and even got the chance to close some games. Right-hander Jaime Barria (2.61) also was consistently good all year as a long reliever. Righty Andrew Wantz (3.22) and lefty José Quijada (3.98) also did some nice work. Overall, Angels relievers posted a 3.95 ERA, which ranked 18th. Their WHIP of 1.23 was 11th.


The only significant addition is right-hander Carlos Estevez (free agent, from Colorado Rockies). Estevez is going to get the first shot at the closer role because the Angels feel he can improve when he’s out of the thin air of Coors Field. Last season Estevez had a strikeout rate of 29.3% on the road and 16.8% at home. As camp begins, Estevez, Loup, Herget, Tepera, Quijada, Wantz and Barria all seem to be fairly safe bets to be in the Opening Day bullpen. (Barria could wind up as a starter, which would open a spot for another reliever.) That leaves room for two relievers from a group of newcomers and holdovers. The Angels added veterans like righties Jonathan Holder and Chris Devenski on minor-league deals. Righties Justin Garza and Jacob Webb have been successful at times in brief major league careers. Right-handers Austin Warren and Jose Marte remain on the roster after inconsistent performances in 2022.


Right-hander Ben Joyce was the Angels’ third-round pick in 2022. He’s not even considered to be one of their top 10 prospects, but he consistently hits triple-digits with his fastball, so he’s an intriguing arm to watch for the back end of the major league bullpen. Joyce, who will be invited to spring training with the major leaguers, posted a 2.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings at Double-A last summer.


Relievers are the most plentiful commodity left on the free agent market, and the bullpen is the area in which the Angels have the most room to improve, so it makes sense that they still could have an addition to make. The best reliever available is lefty Andrew Chafin, who had a 2.83 ERA with the Detroit Tigers last season. Chafin has a career ERA of 3.23. Lefty Zack Britton, who just made it back from Tommy John surgery late last season, is also available.

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38 minutes ago, AngelsWin.com said:

Relievers are the most plentiful commodity left on the free agent market, and the bullpen is the area in which the Angels have the most room to improve, so it makes sense that they still could have an addition to make.

One more reliever signing before Spring Training kicks off to cap off the offseason please

That, combined with the other moves, would get me pretty hyped as ST gets underway.

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2 hours ago, Revad said:

Effectively Wild (Fangraphs) has the Angels preview up.  Going to listen to it later and will report back.

Definitely worth a listen:

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Yu Darvish’s extension, then continue their 2023 season preview series by previewing the 2023 Los Angeles Angels (10:11) with The Athletic’s Sam Blum and the 2023 Boston Red Sox (59:32) with The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, plus a Past Blast (1:47:29) from 1967, an impromptu chat between Ben and former MLB umpire Joe West about whether/why West edited his own Wikipedia page (1:50:12), and a few follow-ups (2:11:42).



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