Angels News: Carlos Estévez Frustrated, But Not Concerned, By Third Blown Save
MLB: Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels were in the driver’s seat to secure a win over the Kansas City Royals from the fifth inning all the way until the final moments of the game on Friday night. A Jo Adell solo home run in the fifth gave the Halos a 1-0 lead that held until the ninth inning, when closer Carlos Estévez entered the game.

Estévez had been struggling for much of the season, but still has six saves in eight opportunities, and the Angels had no plans of straying away from their closer. He recorded the first out immediately, then gave up a single to MJ Melendez. Adam Frazier then stepped into the batter’s box and got all of a 2-0 fastball left too far out over the heart of the plate.

With one swing of the bat, the Angels went from up a run and two outs away from victory to down a run and being sent home with a 2-1 loss. It marked Estévez’s third blown save of the season in nine opportunities. He had just four all of last season in 35 opportunities.

It came on the heels of an excellent performance from starter Griffin Canning — 5.2 scoreless innings — and that was the source of frustration for the Angels’ closer, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“As soon as I let it go, I felt I pulled it a little,” the Angels’ closer said. “It cut on me. That’s the only spot he could have done that, down the line like that.”

“After the way the guys pitched, come on, that can’t happen out there,” Estévez said.

However, when taking a wider look at his season — a 6.17 ERA and 68 ERA+ in 11.2 innings over 12 appearances — Estévez was not concerned.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Estévez said. “I just fill up the strike zone as best as I can with quality pitches.”

“It’s a matter of me not missing that pitch,” Estévez said. “I was making some pretty good pitches before and after that. That’s the part that makes me mad. After the way the guys pitched like that, I couldn’t deliver. That’s baseball.”

Estévez had a great 2023 season for the Angels, but his 2024 is off to an objectively difficult start. The Angels are not going to move away from him as their closer any time soon, but a third blown save in nine tries is certainly not a good ratio.

Angels gave Mike Trout option to play through meniscus injury

Last week, Angels superstar Mike Trout underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Trout is considered out indefinitely, with a rumored timetable of about 8-12 weeks for a return.

As far as knee injuries go, a torn meniscus is among the better options. The meniscus injury affords Trout the possibility of a return in 2024.

But team doctors gave Trout the option to not miss any time. They told him that he could play through the injury and deal with pain management throughout the season, and Trout discussed why he ultimately did not take that path this season.

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