Does the money keep Kevin Jepsen out of the closer spot this year? His peripherals are and have been pretty ridiculous recently.
Comment by The Usual SusBeck — May 11, 2010 @ 10:15 am
Actually, money might thrust Jepsen into the closer’s role this year. Fuentes’ deal vests if he finishes 55 games this season, and if he’s continually out-performed by Jepsen, he’s got no grounds for a grievance. Of course, delusional Angels fans tried justifying Rodney’s dumb deal by claiming it would be an excuse to get out of Fuentes’ dumb vesting option, but replacing one crappy, overpaid closer with another was never the solution – finding someone better was.
I actually wrote an article recently for bleacherreport calling Fuentes the 14th best “closer” in the AL (and that doesn’t even count better setup men like Joba Chamberlain), and has two (TWO!) Blue Jays on the list.
It’s well documented that the Angels have a closer fetish. Why Jepsen was a non-option for 2010, I will never know.
Maybe now the Angels will finally find out that their “way” is unsustainable and they need to spend for something other than “veteran presence”
I watched the game yesterday. Fuentes was having awful control problems with his breaking ball – 1 HBP, 1 wild pitch behind the batter, a bouncer way outside that would have been a wild pitch had it not been for a great grab by Napoli. One of the runs that accounted for the blown save was caused by a walk to Zobrist I believe – if you strike him out, then Longoria never comes up and he escapes the inning with 1 run and a save.
My point is, I think most of Fuentes’ problems this year can be chalked up to control problems. Any left-handed closer, no matter how good his stuff, will give up a game-tying double to Evan Longoria once in awhile.
I was thinking the exact same thing. I had always thought of the Angels as a team that really knew how to put together a bullpen in a smart way. … And then they threw a boatload of money at Fuentes. I scratched my head and thought: “Well, clearly they have devoted more time to this than me. They must know something I don’t.” After these last couple of seasons though, plus signing Rodney, I’m definitely in head-scratch mode myself.
Maybe they have just been getting lucky in the past?
Prior to Arte Moreno’s acquisition of the team, the Angels were operating under a much tighter budget. They didn’t have the luxury of throwing big dollars at middle relief pitchers. In the early 2000s then GM Bill Stoneman’s strategy was to stock the bullpen with power arms. During this time he picked up players like Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Derrick Turnbow, and Bobby Jenks. Some worked out, some didn’t. But ultimately the Angels had excellent bullpens circa 2002-2005 that didn’t cost a fortune.
Comment by The Joe From 1993 — May 12, 2010 @ 10:21 am