Los Angeles Angels reliever Mike Mayers was the only bullpen arm from the 2020 team to start 2021 on the big league roster. He has consistently been one of the most trustworthy players in Joe Maddon’s bullpen, but it didn’t show in the Angels 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
Mayers came into the game in the top of the eighth for his second appearance in as many days. On Tuesday, Mayers threw 27 pitches in 1.2 innings, but Maddon decided to trust him once again. This performance was one of his worst in recent memory.
Mayers did not record a single out, allowing three runs, two hits, and a walk in the process. What was a 3-1 Angels lead became a 5-3 Rangers lead in just four batters.
Maddon detailed where things went wrong for Mayers following the collapse, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“The walk to Gallo was big and the pitch to Garcia was just in the wrong spot, and the pitch to Lowe,” Maddon said. “That’s his spot right there: Gallo, Garcia and Lowe. And it didn’t work out.”
Despite the poor performance, Maddon said he will continue to trust Mayers, as he doesn’t believe the showing was indicative of something larger.
“You trust the guy,” Maddon said. “Don’t forget he had three days off before that. There’s all kinds of considerations. When you’re talking to a veteran pitcher, you listen, and I listened to him.”
The Angels bullpen has been decent to begin the season, albeit inconsistent. Individual performances have varied from lights out to unable to get an out, and it’s something the Angels must clean up as quickly as possible.
This was a risk the Angels took when they completely overhauled their bullpen. While it was the right thing to do after 2020’s unit ranked among the worst in the MLB, there is always the chance that some of a team’s moves won’t go as planned.
Luckily, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. The Angels sit at 9-7 and will still be able to compete for a postseason spot.
Perry Minasian pursued Shane Greene
One of the biggest names on the bullpen market remains a free agent, but it’s not for a lack of interest, as the Angels reportedly reached out to Shane Greene before the season began.
The two sides could not agree on a contract, so Minasian moved on and snagged Tony Watson and Steve Cishek in last minute deals.