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OC Register: Angels GM Perry Minasian says underlying numbers indicate bullpen will improve


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ANAHEIM — Angels general manager Perry Minasian says he’s not concerned about the team’s bullpen after a rough start, and he’s bringing receipts.

A day after the Angels blew a six-run lead and three days after they blew a two-run lead, Minasian said the underlying numbers give him to reason to believe the same relievers will get better results.

“We like our bullpen,” Minasian said on Monday. “I think when you look at certain things that are indicators of good bullpens, missing bats is important, not walking people is important. We’ve done both to a pretty solid level. The one area where we’ve been really hurt, it’s just batting average on balls and play.”

Angels relievers have a 25.2% strikeout rate, which ranks 10th in the majors. They have walked just 4.4% of hitters, excluding intentional walks. That’s the best rate in the majors.

The batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against Angels relievers is .345. The major league average is .290. In theory, that means when opponents make contact, a higher-than-normal percentage of those balls are falling for hits instead of turning into outs.

The nightmarish seventh inning on Sunday was a classic example. The Angels gave up four runs, and none of the hits in that inning left the bat at greater than 80 mph. They were three bloopers and a ground ball.

“I don’t know how often you’ll see four or five hits at that level,” Minasian said. “It doesn’t happen too often. And you have to give the other side credit too. They put the ball in play, a lot of two-strike counts. They did things the right way. They played winning baseball.”

Certainly, it’s easier for opponents to put those balls into play against a corps of relievers that is short on power fastballs.

However, Minasian responded by again pointing to the strikeout rate, which is above average.

“You don’t have to throw (in the upper 90s) to miss bats,” Minasian said. “It’s about executing pitches. Would you want a full bullpen with guys throwing 110 that have nasty breaking balls and throw strike one? Absolutely. We all would. But we like our group.”

All of that said, Minasian acknowledged that it’s results that count, and so far the Angels have not gotten the results they’d like. They gave up late leads in three of their first four losses. The relievers have a 4.45 ERA, which ranks 15th in the majors.

Minasian also said the relievers need to do a better job of throwing first-pitch strikes.

“We like this group,” Minasian said. “We think it’s going to be a productive group. We’ll just go day by day, and I think one thing about (Manager Phil Nevin) is there’s a lot of confidence there with him on the bullpen. He knows what he’s doing. We believe in our guys, and we’re going to have a productive year.”

WATCHING ADELL

Minasian said he’s been happy to see outfielder Jo Adell off to such a torrid start at Triple-A. Adell was the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week after hitting seven homers in six games. He is hitting .353 with a 1.564 OPS, including seven walks and 12 strikeouts.

Minasian said Adell made some swing adjustments midway through spring training.

“His buy-in has been outstanding,” Minasian said. “He worked really hard this offseason. So I’m glad he’s seeing the results he’s seeing. At some point, he’s going to help us.”

As of now, the Angels have no spot for him in the big leagues, though. The Angels have Taylor Ward, Mike Trout and Hunter Renfroe playing every day.

NOTES

Third baseman Anthony Rendon was a late scratch from the Angels’ lineup with left shoulder soreness. Rendon was hit in the shoulder by a pitch on Sunday. David Fletcher started at shortstop and Gio Urshela moved to third. …

The Angels still have not settled on a starting pitcher for Wednesday, but the default plan is to use left-hander Tucker Davidson unless he’s needed in relief in one of the first two games of the series. Plan B would be right-hander Griffin Canning, but the Angels would need to make a roster move to use him. …

Catcher Logan O’Hoppe had three homers and a .926 OPS heading into Monday’s game, but he was still hitting in the No. 8 spot. Nevin said it’s possible that O’Hoppe would move up in the order, but for now he’s content to keep him in a spot with less pressure and give the Angels some pop at the bottom of the order. …

Right-hander Chase Silseth was the PCL Pitcher of the Week. He has not allowed a run in 11 innings this season, with 13 strikeouts and three walks.

UP NEXT

Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 1-0, 0.75) vs. Nationals (RHP Josiah Gray, 0-2, 4.91), Tuesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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12 hours ago, Angel Oracle said:

Isn’t Minasian missing the bigger picture?

Softer tossing relievers are ultimately more vulnerable in the long run.

Which is why a lot of MLB teams have gone to power arm oriented bullpens.

I asked him that specifically. He says his guys miss bats even though they don’t throw hard (which is true). And he didn’t mention this directly but the Angels bullpen hardly walks anyone. The high velo guys walk people. Look at what Jordan Romano did in the 10th on Sunday. He got the save because he had a two run lead but it was pretty sloppy. 

from the story…
 

Certainly, it’s easier for opponents to put those balls into play against a corps of relievers that is short on power fastballs.

However, Minasian responded by again pointing to the strikeout rate, which is above average.

“You don’t have to throw (in the upper 90s) to miss bats,” Minasian said. “It’s about executing pitches. Would you want a full bullpen with guys throwing 110 that have nasty breaking balls and throw strike one? Absolutely. We all would. But we like our group.”

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2 minutes ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

At this point you just have to hope that some of these guys we drafted the past 2 years take steps forward and can give the pen a shot in the arm at some point this year.

Pretty much

Or call Scot Shields and see if his arm is still alive and how many packs of smokes he would need to join the team.

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They just really need a true killer instinct type guy who can come in and strike out the side. Estevez *might* still be that guy. Joyce is that guy, but isn’t quite ready. They have solid arms, it’s just not a complete pen makeup yet. 

Minasian has promoted aggressively, and made moves to address needs fairly quickly. I imagine if this keeps up we will see some changes internally in next couple of weeks, and possibly a trade/waiver claims made on high-octane volatile arms in short order. 

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29 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

The question is, between Bachman and Erla, which one (or both or neither) is destined ultimately for the pen?

I think Bachman stays a starter (until he proves otherwise) but will see time in the MLB bullpen.

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22 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

ANAHEIM — Angels general manager Perry Minasian says he’s not concerned about the team’s bullpen after a rough start, and he’s bringing receipts.

A day after the Angels blew a six-run lead and three days after they blew a two-run lead, Minasian said the underlying numbers give him to reason to believe the same relievers will get better results.

“We like our bullpen,” Minasian said on Monday. “I think when you look at certain things that are indicators of good bullpens, missing bats is important, not walking people is important. We’ve done both to a pretty solid level. The one area where we’ve been really hurt, it’s just batting average on balls and play.”

Angels relievers have a 25.2% strikeout rate, which ranks 10th in the majors. They have walked just 4.4% of hitters, excluding intentional walks. That’s the best rate in the majors.

The batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against Angels relievers is .345. The major league average is .290. In theory, that means when opponents make contact, a higher-than-normal percentage of those balls are falling for hits instead of turning into outs.

The nightmarish seventh inning on Sunday was a classic example. The Angels gave up four runs, and none of the hits in that inning left the bat at greater than 80 mph. They were three bloopers and a ground ball.

“I don’t know how often you’ll see four or five hits at that level,” Minasian said. “It doesn’t happen too often. And you have to give the other side credit too. They put the ball in play, a lot of two-strike counts. They did things the right way. They played winning baseball.”

Certainly, it’s easier for opponents to put those balls into play against a corps of relievers that is short on power fastballs.

However, Minasian responded by again pointing to the strikeout rate, which is above average.

“You don’t have to throw (in the upper 90s) to miss bats,” Minasian said. “It’s about executing pitches. Would you want a full bullpen with guys throwing 110 that have nasty breaking balls and throw strike one? Absolutely. We all would. But we like our group.”

All of that said, Minasian acknowledged that it’s results that count, and so far the Angels have not gotten the results they’d like. They gave up late leads in three of their first four losses. The relievers have a 4.45 ERA, which ranks 15th in the majors.

Minasian also said the relievers need to do a better job of throwing first-pitch strikes.

“We like this group,” Minasian said. “We think it’s going to be a productive group. We’ll just go day by day, and I think one thing about (Manager Phil Nevin) is there’s a lot of confidence there with him on the bullpen. He knows what he’s doing. We believe in our guys, and we’re going to have a productive year.”

WATCHING ADELL

Minasian said he’s been happy to see outfielder Jo Adell off to such a torrid start at Triple-A. Adell was the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week after hitting seven homers in six games. He is hitting .353 with a 1.564 OPS, including seven walks and 12 strikeouts.

Minasian said Adell made some swing adjustments midway through spring training.

“His buy-in has been outstanding,” Minasian said. “He worked really hard this offseason. So I’m glad he’s seeing the results he’s seeing. At some point, he’s going to help us.”

As of now, the Angels have no spot for him in the big leagues, though. The Angels have Taylor Ward, Mike Trout and Hunter Renfroe playing every day.

NOTES

Third baseman Anthony Rendon was a late scratch from the Angels’ lineup with left shoulder soreness. Rendon was hit in the shoulder by a pitch on Sunday. David Fletcher started at shortstop and Gio Urshela moved to third. …

Related Articles

The Angels still have not settled on a starting pitcher for Wednesday, but the default plan is to use left-hander Tucker Davidson unless he’s needed in relief in one of the first two games of the series. Plan B would be right-hander Griffin Canning, but the Angels would need to make a roster move to use him. …

Catcher Logan O’Hoppe had three homers and a .926 OPS heading into Monday’s game, but he was still hitting in the No. 8 spot. Nevin said it’s possible that O’Hoppe would move up in the order, but for now he’s content to keep him in a spot with less pressure and give the Angels some pop at the bottom of the order. …

Right-hander Chase Silseth was the PCL Pitcher of the Week. He has not allowed a run in 11 innings this season, with 13 strikeouts and three walks.

UP NEXT

Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 1-0, 0.75) vs. Nationals (RHP Josiah Gray, 0-2, 4.91), Tuesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

View the full article

I believe it will improve also.

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