Ernesto Frieri notched his third save in as many days this afternoon in a 3-2 Angels victory over the White Sox. The Angels’ ninth-inning man faced one over the minimum, surrendering a one-out single to Dayan Viciedo, en route to his seventh save on the year. In his last three trips to the hill, Frieri is 3-for-3 in save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA, a 0.54 WHIP and a 7.0 K/BB. Additionally, the right-hander is a perfect 4-for-4 in May and has lowered his ERA from 2.19 to 1.59.
All of this is great news for Frieri and the Angels, but they may soon have a closer controversy on their hands with Ryan Madson expected to rejoin the team’s bullpen. The veteran’s battle back to the big leagues continued today with a successful simulated game in Arizona and will likely forge ahead early next week with a rehab assignment for Single-A Inland Empire. If all goes well, Madson could be get the call towards the end of next week.
Madson’s last major league action came way back in September of 2011 — a season in which he saved 32-of-34 games for the Phillies. After signing a one-year deal with the Reds, the closer suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament during Spring Training, causing him to miss the entire twenty-twelve campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Twins’ closer Glen Perkins was unavailable tonight for the second straight evening with a sore left side. In his stead, Jared Burton earned three quick outs on 11 pitches to earn his first save of the year. Including tonight’s outing, Burton has pitched in three consecutive games and could be rested on Sunday. If Perkins and Burton are unavailable tomorrow, Casey Fien could get a save opportunity if the Twins are in position.
Casey Janssen yielded a leadoff double to Will Middlebrooks, but needed a total of just ten pitches to lock down his 10th save of the season. Interestingly, Janssen’s ERA shrunk to an impressive 0.69 (0.99 FIP) after today’s outing. And the one hit the right-hander allowed in today’s contest resulted in Janssen’s WHIP to skyrocket from 0.25 to 0.38 on the year. Despite the aforementioned success, Janssen’s velocity appears to be down a tick on each of his offerings through six weeks of action. And the 31-year-old’s 8.2% swinging strike rate is the lowest it’s been since 2007, meaning the 30% K% could be a mirage. With all of this in mind, Janssen could be a good “sell-high” candidate for owners that can afford to shed some saves.
Joel Hanrahan opted for surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon in his pitching arm. The Red Sox closer is expected to miss six-to-nine months following the surgery as long as Dr. James Andrews determines Tommy John surgery isn’t needed while the reliever is under the knife. Andrew Bailey continued his throwing program today with some long toss, but could take the hill in a simulated game next week. In their absences, Junichi Tazawa will remain the team’s primary ninth-inning option despite taking the loss in today’s contest.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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