The Los Angeles Angels signed Carlos Estévez in the offseason to anchor their bullpen at the backend, but as Spring Training played out, numerous arms in the bullpen could prove to be capable of getting the final three outs.
General manager Perry Minasian signed Estévez to a two-year $13.5 million contract after a spectacular second half which placed him in the top five relievers in all of baseball. His success with the Colorado Rockies set him up for a solid payday, and what could be a legitimate shot at a closer job.
Through the club’s first seven games, their record sits a 4-3, with two of their wins being closed out by Jose Quijada and Tucker Davidson, who earned his first career save in a multi-inning mop-up outing. Minasian added Estévez to a room with Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, Jimmy Herget and Quijada, who have all notched time in closer spots.
Having options isn’t a bad thing for the Angels, and unless someone among that group begins to separate themselves, Estévez believes there are enough arms to be confident in whoever is given the nod, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“Honestly, if we have three guys with 20 saves or 20-plus saves, that’s great,” Estévez said. “We’re going to be winning a lot of games. If I get to close, good, but if someone else does, that’s good too. We’ve got a lot of really good arms. I’m excited to see what we can do as a group.”
Estévez allowed nine runs through 7.2 innings of work in spring camp, and to his own admission, he explained his low level of concern over exhibition results. In his first two outings in the 2023 regular season, he’s posted two solid performances including a three-strikeout showing in his first appearance on April 2.
Angels lefty Tucker Davidson could start Wednesday against Nationals
With multiple starting options heading into the year, Angels manager Phil Nevin discussed the possibility of utilizing a six-man rotation to accommodate extra rest and to provide innings for everyone.
With Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, José Suarez, and Davidson at the backend, there’s a bit of finesse required to make it work and Davidson could see an increase in his workload in the coming week.
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