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Angels bullpen already faltering

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Angels bullpen already faltering · Notes, Quotes

Going into the offseason, the Angels knew they had issues to address in the bullpen.

The relievers' collective ERA was ninth in the American League and they led all AL bullpens in walks issued (233) in 2010. Veteran setup man Scot Shields was retiring and Fernando Rodney had the closer role by default after a staggering finish to the 2010 season.

They thought they addressed those issues by signing two veteran free agent relievers, Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, giving them greater depth and more options than Angels manager Mike Scioscia had to work with in 2010.

It hasn't looked that way so far. The Angels led or were tied in the eighth or ninth inning of each of their four games in the season-opening series in Kansas City. But Rodney blew one save and three different relievers took losses in the series -- Michael Kohn (a walkoff home run by Kila Ka'aihue on Friday), Kevin Jepsen (a two-run eighth inning) and Jason Bulger (a three-run walkoff home run by Matt Treanor in the 13th inning Sunday).

"We're going to have to sort some things out," Scioscia said after Sunday's loss. "Some guys we need to throw the ball well, who are going to be important to us, are not throwing the ball well right now and we're going to have to look at that.

"We need to find some chemistry down there (in the bullpen). Some of these guys that aren't pitching well, if you change their role -- it's still an impact role. So it's not going to be as simple as saying you want this guy in this role and that guy in that role."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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