Ernesto Frieri is 0-3 with a 4.20 earned-run average this season. (Getty Images)
Ernesto Frieri was brimming with strong emotions Thursday.
The Angels’ closer was sitting at his locker for the first time since blowing saves on consecutive nights Monday and Tuesday in Texas, a series of events that clearly hit the 28-year-old pitcher hard.
On Monday he allowed a pair of solo home runs in the ninth inning, turning a 3-2 Angels lead into a 4-3 loss. On Tuesday he allowed a walk, stolen base and RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning with the Angels ahead 11-10. Frieri was pulled from that game, which the Angels lost 14-11 in the 10th inning.
Frieri never got a chance to atone for his mistakes on Wednesday. Michael Kohn pitched the ninth inning and served up the game-winning home run in a 1-1 game — the Angels’ third consecutive walk-off loss.
“Just keep fighting,” said Frieri, whose earned-run average rose to 4.20 in Texas. “It’s gonna pass sooner or later.”
The Angels optioned pitchers Ryan Brasier, Barry Enright and Michael Kohn to Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, bringing their camp roster to 47.
Brasier was 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in six spring games. The right-hander allowed 11 hits and seven runs, all earned, in six and one-third innings. He walked none and struck out five. Brasier spent all of last season at Salt Lake.
Enright had appeared in just two spring games, starting one. In two and two-thirds innings, he allowed eight hits, four runs (all earned), walked one and struck out one. The right-hander pitched all but three of his 32 games last season at the Triple-A level.
Kohn, 26, was under a bit of a microscope having missed all of 2012 to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. His Cactus League was going fairly well until he allowed four runs (three earned) in the Angels’ 17-11 loss to Kansas City on Sunday.
The Angels cleared a spot on their 40-man roster by outrighting right-handed reliever Bobby Cassevah on Thursday. Cassevah has 72 hours to either accept his assignment to the minor-league side or become a free agent.
Cassevah appeared in one game this spring, allowing a single and walking two batters but escaping the jam Sunday against the Oakland A’s.
The assignment comes as Cassevah was hoping to move past a disappointing 2012 season. He hurt his shoulder in spring training and pitched in just four major-league games all year, walking six and surrendering four runs in five innings (7.20 ERA). At Triple-A Salt Lake, Cassevah went 4-1 with a 6.22 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, recording 10 saves in 12 opportunities.
The Angels could use Cassevah’s roster spot to acquire a player via trade or free agency, though it’s too soon to say if the Angels want to go that route. It’s also good news for 40-man roster pitchers Nick Maronde, Brandon Sisk, David Carpenter, Steven Geltz and Michael Kohn, whose chances of starting the season in the majors temporarily improve.
Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart knows that a good way to arouse the suspicion of the Transportation Safety Administration is to put a bullet somewhere in your luggage at the airport. But accidents happen, as he tweeted nine days ago: