The Los Angeles Angels made two big additions to their bullpen this week, adding Archie Bradley and Ryan Tepera to their relief crew. General manager Perry Minasian has always prioritized strong bullpens over strong rotations, and he has shown that building this year’s team.
The Angels have arguably one of the best bullpens in the Majors, with Raisel Iglesias, Aaron Loup, Bradley, and Tepera carrying the heavy workload. But all of these additions have shifted the focus back to the rotation, where the Angels could certainly use 1-2 more pieces.
Minasian appears to be aware of this, and admitted he’s doing what he can to make improvements before the season begins, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
When asked whether the Angels’ bullpen additions might alleviate the need to add a starting pitcher, general manager Perry Minasian said, “You can never have enough. That’s something that we’re still trying to improve.”
When asked if a major move could be in the works, Minasian kept any intel close to the vest. But he also showed an understanding of fans’ frustrations with the lack of post-lockout improvements to the rotation, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
Asked if he still thinks a move is possible, Minasian said: “We’ll find out. You don’t know. It’s hard, right? It’s hard to predict. That’s a lot of conversations, a lot of dialogue. Sometimes you feel like it’s going the right way, and sometimes you feel like we’re gonna make a U-turn.”
Minasian said he appreciated the fans’ frustration.
“I’m a big sports fan, so I totally understand,” he said. “I love basketball. I love football. I have my teams. I understand when you’re watching and you’re hoping and expecting things to happen quick. All I can say is I feel like we’ve improved from where we were last year.”
It’s not unreasonable to think that the Angels rotation is better than it was last season. Currently, the starting rotation projects to include Noah Syndergaard, Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, and Michael Lorenzen. The Angels want to have a six-man rotation, so there are a few Minor League options to pick from for that spot.
So while that is better than last season, fans would have loved to see a signing of someone like Tyler Anderson, who wound up agreeing to terms with the L.A. Dodgers. Having a quality No. 6 starter could allow younger pitchers to continue developing in the Minors, only calling them up when need be.
Of course, moves can always be made, and some quality starting pitchers could still be available via trade. It’s just a matter of whether or not the Angels will be willing to make that big move.
Reds keeping top starters
Many Angels fans were hoping that a deal for Cincinnati Reds star Luis Castillo would materialize. Instead, the Reds reportedly intend to keep both Castillo and Tyler Mahle despite trading away Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suarez while letting Nick Castellanos walk away.