The Angels’ bullpen is an unsettled mess. Their relievers have a collective 7.20 earned-run average in spring training, more than a full run higher than the next-closest team.
Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen, Sean Burnett, Jerome Williams, Scott Downs, Mitch Stetter and David Carpenter all have ERAs above 5. If the Angels choose to send Garrett Richards to Triple-A Salt Lake to get work as a starter (though it’s unlikely in light of his stellar spring), those seven could comprise the Angels’ Opening Day bullpen.
Even though it’s only spring training, the situation was urgent enough for the Angels to add three relievers Wednesday. Before the Angels’ 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers, they announced the signing of Mark Lowe to a minor-league contract. Lowe threw a bullpen Wednesday and is on the travel roster to go to Anaheim.
After the game, the Angels added two more arms to the bullpen: right-hander Elvin Ramirez and right-hander Dane De La Rosa.
Mark Lowe had a 3.43 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Texas Rangers last season. (Associated Press)
The Angels are bringing 20 position players and 15 pitchers to the Freeway Series. One name on the list stands out.
Mark Lowe signed a minor-league contract this morning after being cut by the Dodgers on Sunday. Lowe, a XX(B) free agent, finished last season on the Texas Rangers’ roster and had until Tuesday before the Dodgers had to decide to keep or cut him. Coincidentally, the Angels’ final four exhibition games are against either the Rangers or Dodgers.
Lowe, 29, has pitched in parts of seven major-league seasons for the Rangers and Mariners. The right-hander posted a 4.15 ERA in nine Cactus League appearances with the Dodgers (four earned runs in 8 ⅔ innings) while walking three and striking out six. With David Carpenter struggling (5.91 ERA in 12 appearances), Lowe stands a decent chance of making the team. The Angels have four open spots on the 40-man roster.
The other name on the list that seems out of place is Austin Wood, but he’ll probably only get on the mound in case of an emergency. The 22-year-old right-hander finished last season at Low-A Cedar Rapids.
Here’s the full list:
Vernon Wells couldn’t be moved easily for a fifth outfielder (Associated Press photo)
With six days left before Opening Day, the Angels have 36 players on their 40-man roster. Brad Mills, Bobby Cassevah, Steve Geltz and now Vernon Wells have all left camp one way or another.
That means four players have a way of working their way onto the Angels’ roster, including some who will start the season in the majors. That was by design, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday.
The proposed trade that would send Vernon Wells to the New York Yankees still isn’t complete. Multiple sources have confirmed reports that Wells won’t take his physical until Tuesday, at which point the trade can become official.
We still don’t know what the Angels will receive from the Yankees in return for Wells, other than something in the neighborhood of $6-8 million per year over the next two years. That’s a nice chunk of change but it still only partially offsets the approximately $42 million left on Wells’ contract.
For the Angels, trading Wells opens a spot for Kole Calhoun or J.B. Shuck to earn the fourth outfielder job. Shuck doubled Monday to raise his Cactus League batting average to .357; Calhoun is batting .200.
More updates as we get ‘em, but there might not be any until tomorrow.
David Carpenter could be on the bubble for one of the Angels’ final bullpen jobs … or not. (Getty Images)
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said his pitching staff “will have a more situational look in the bullpen” when the regular season begins. It’s not hard to figure out what that means, as there are 15 pitchers currently in camp and 12 will start the season on the active roster.
Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throw to the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of a spring training baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., on Wednesday. (Chris Carlson/Associated Press)
Tommy Hanson is healthy and is scheduled to throw six innings and 80-90 pitches today.
It just won’t come in the Angels’ Cactus League game against the Chicago White Sox. He’ll pitch in a minor-league game instead, as manager Mike Scioscia wanted to ensure that Hanson, the Angels’ projected fifth starter, gets fully stretched out in his second-to-last start of the spring.
“We need to get him into a controlled environment,” Scioscia said. “It’s an important outing to get him into a little more — not only length as far as pitches — but innings. It’s difficult if you’re up to 90 pitches.”
The Angels and Yankees are discussing a trade that would send Vernon Wells to New York, according to multiple reports Sunday.
Wells, 34, is the Angels’ highest paid player at $49.3 million over the next two seasons. He also has a no-trade clause. John Heyman of CBSSports.com wrote on his Twitter account Sunday that Wells would waive the no-trade clause if the trade being discussed is consummated.
Few teams can consider eating Wells’ salary, but the Yankees have a historically big budget and the need for lineup help. Shortstop Derek Jeter isn’t expected to debut until April 6, Mark Teixeira until June and Alex Rodriguez until after the All-Star break.
Wells is not in the Angels’ lineup today against the San Francisco Giants.
Update, 4:17 p.m.: The deal is not official but Wells hinted that he’ll be in a Yankee uniform soon via Twitter:
In what amounted to a spring training bloodbath, the Angels cut nine players from their major-league camp roster Sunday.
Among the notable names sent out, Chad Cordero was reassigned to the Angels’ minor-league camp and right-hander Brad Mills was claimed off of outright waivers by the Texas Rangers.
Angels catcher Hank Conger made three throws to infielders in Thursday night’s exhibition game against the Texas Rangers. Two came on stolen base attempts at second; both runners were safe. The other came when Conger tried to pick off the runner at first base, starting a rundown that resulted in Leonys Martin being caught stealing, 2-3-4 in your scorebook.
It was only three throws and only an exhibition game in March.
And yet …
“It’s huge,” Conger said.
Bill Hall couldn’t stay healthy.
That might have been the only thing the multi-positional veteran couldn’t do for the Angels, but it was enough to earn his unconditional release on Friday.
The Angels had until Tuesday to decide whether to keep Hall in the organization at a cost of $100,000 or release him. They didn’t need that much time.
Hall had not appeared in a spring game since Feb. 27, when he injured his right quadriceps muscle. He hadn’t done any baseball activities since pulling his left calf muscle March 13 doing infield drills. Hall made only nine plate appearances this spring and the Angels simply couldn’t make the commitment.
The Angels still have an opening on the 40-man roster, and still could use a multi-positional infielder to replace Maicer Izturis. They have the option of re-signing Hall to a minor-league deal.