With a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding the Los Angeles Angels pitching staff, the rotation has become a moderately reliable piece on general manager Perry Minasian’s roster, but because of a few trades and bullpen swaps, the closer role remains a questions mark.
During the 2022 season, the Angels bullpen compiled a 3.97 ERA, 4.31 FIP, and a 1.23 WHIP in 592.1 innings, which was the 14th-highest usage in Major League Baseball. However, the Angels bullpen was underwhelming, along with the rest of the team, but it prompted Minasian to make some changes.
At the trade deadline, Minasian shipped closer Raisel Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves for a weak return in prospect value but was able to offload the entirety of his contract. The spot at the backend is still wide-open, and it’s an area they’ll continue to examine, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
Minasian said improving the bullpen is a priority, but the team hasn’t decided whether it needs to bring in a veteran closer or go with an internal option.
Jimmy Herget was given the opportunity to close games for the Angels in the last month or so of the regular season, and the 29-year-old with the funky delivery thrived in that spot. But it shouldn’t be cut and dry, as Minasian should absolutely consider all options to shore up an important role for his club.
How Herget fared in the closer role
Without Iglesias, manager Phil Nevin had to roll the dice on different arms, which provided an opportunity to guys like Herget, who thrived.
Herget’s success this season has a lot to do with his unorthodox, sidearm delivery, which according to Baseball Savant, grades out in the 1st percentile in terms of extension. His overall metrics aren’t jumping off of the page numbers, but being unique, and having a closer mentality.
Since Aug. 2, Herget logged a 1.10 ERA, 2.35 FIP, striking out 29 in 32.2 innings, and notched eight saves with five holds in that span.
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