The Los Angeles Angels acquired closer Raisel Iglesias in the offseason, hoping that he would be a steady arm for the team to rely on at the end of close games. On some nights, he’s absolutely been that, as his ability to force swings and misses is remarkable to watch.
However, consistency has been a major issue, plaguing Iglesias and many other Angels relievers. The Angels closer has eight appearances this season. In five of them spanning 5.0 innings pitched, he’s been lights out, allowing only one run — zero earned — and striking out eight in the process. This includes both of his two saves.
His other three outings — spanning 2.0 innings — have been outright bad. He allowed six runs and blew two saves, one of them via a walk-off single in extra innings on Friday night.
Iglesias still has confidence in his pitches, but knows he needs to figure out why he’s having these bad outings in between incredible ones, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I’m definitely off to a slow start, but my confidence is there with all my pitches,” Iglesias said through an interpreter. “I just have to keep going out there and find a solution to what’s going on.”
The Angels bullpen started the year well, but they have deteriorated over the past few games, allowing over half of inherited runners during the first 18 games.
Now, after three straight losses, the Angels find themselves at 9-9. Luckily, it’s still incredibly early, but the Angels bullpen needs to figure something out quickly, and this includes Iglesias.
Angeles general manager Perry Minasian took a bold risk when he replaced nearly the entire 2020 bullpen. And while it could still work out, it just shows the difficulty of rebuilding an entire unit in just a few months. Hopefully, as the season progresses, these relief pitchers will build confidence in themselves and each other to help the starters maintain leads late in games.
Chris Rodriguez continues to impress Joe Maddon
Perhaps the only Angels reliever who has been good all season long without many hiccups is 22-year old starter Chris Rodriguez. The Halos brought him in as a bullpen arm to ease him into the Major Leagues, and the decision has paid off well.
Maddon spoke about what Rodriguez brings to the team, saying that anything is possible when thinking about his future in Anaheim.