After signing Scott Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract today, Angels general manager Tony Reagins told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he is done with his bullpen.
“Right now, we’re very satisfied with the starting pitching we have and with the bullpen we have. Now, it’s on to see what other opportunities come up.”
Many considered the Angels the favorites to land closer Rafael Soriano this winter, but after committing $33 million to Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, they will now look to upgrade in other areas.
As for who will close for the Angels next season, Mike Scioscia said Downs would likely be part of a committee with Fernando Rodney, Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden.
“If we need one or two guys at times to get the last out, we’re going to do it but I don’t think the committee’s going to be very large,” Scioscia said.
Though he wasn’t mentioned as part of the potential committee, Takahashi went 8-for-8 in save opportunities with the Mets this past season.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.