Angels hope to ride improved bullpen to series win vs. Mariners

Angels hope to ride improved bullpen to series win vs. Mariners

The Los Angeles Angels are not the same team the Seattle Mariners faced in the first week of April

The Angels will look to show how much they’ve improved on Saturday when the American League West rivals continue their three-game series in Anaheim, Calif

In particular, Los Angeles has revamped a bullpen that struggled during the first two months of the season.

Five relievers who were on the opening day roster — Jimmy Herget, Matt Moore, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Wantz and Jose Quijada — are currently not on the active roster, either on the injured list, in the minors or released.

The Angels have opted to go with some young and inexperienced arms, calling up Ben Joyce, Sam Bachman and Jose Soriano. But they also are relying on Chris Devenski, a 32-year-old veteran who has playoff experience and was an All-Star with the Houston Astros in 2017

Devenski began the season at Triple-A Salt Lake before being called up April 29. He has been the Angels‘ best reliever other than closer Carlos Estevez, who improved to 17-for-17 in save opportunities after shutting the door in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Mariners

Devenski grew up in Southern California, was an Angels fan and attended nearby Cal State Fullerton. He is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 16 relief appearances this season. He has 22 strikeouts and zero walks in 21 1/3 innings

Devenski also been good at putting out fires. He has stranded 17 of 20 inherited runners (85 percent), significantly better than the league average of 68 percent.

“I think you just go out there and make your pitches and focus on executing,” Devenski said. “Those are big situations. I like those situations. I feel an extra little boost of adrenaline so I can use that to my advantage.”

Angels manager Phil Nevin is comfortable with Devenski in those high-leverage situations

“He throws strikes and he understands the situation,” Nevin said. “He’s just really smart, understanding the situation, where they can potentially hit a ball if he throws it in the right place. He’s been there. He’s done that.”

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (3-5, 4.14 ERA) will make his 12th start of the season for Los Angeles. He is 0-3 with a 2.45 ERA in seven career starts against Seattle.

Seattle right-hander Bryan Woo (0-1, 27.00) will make his second major-league appearance on Saturday. In his only start this season, Woo got rocked for six runs and seven hits in two innings against the Texas Rangers in a 16-6 loss on June 3.

Woo, who was called up from Double-A Arkansas to start in place of the injured Marco Gonzales, tried to focus on the positive despite the numbers.

“I was definitely able to settle in a little bit,” Woo said. “My fastball was coming out pretty well. I was, obviously, a little amped up. My energy was a little high, so I tried to control it the best I could and take it pitch by pitch.”

–Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.