There was a great deal of talk over the month of August as to whether or not Ernesto Frieri would be able to hold onto his job as closer for the Los Angeles Angels. The coaching staff went as far as opening up the competition between Frieri and Dane de la Rosa for the gig.
Just a month later, though, it looks like Frieri has turned a corner and may have locked down the ninth inning job once again for the foreseeable future. Like multiple pitchers on this Angels staff, Frieri has rebounded over the course of the last several weeks, which could mean positive things for his future.
From the end of July, up until the beginning of August (August 6th to be exact), Frieri lost three games, recorded a pair of blown saves, and saw an ERA over 23, with opposing hitters going for an average over .500 against him. That span saw his ERA balloon up to 4.79, his highest mark at any point this season.
Since that low point of the season, though, Frieri has managed to turn it right back around. Those rough couple of weeks led to him getting his head right, and it has paid off. His ERA is back down to 3.92, almost a full point lower, recording a pair of wins and five saves over that span, including a recent outing in which he notched a five-out save.
Whether or not Frieri remains the closer over the long term for the Haloes remains to be seen. But the fact that he’s been able to rebound from a mental perspective says a lot about him, and if he can continue this for the final stretch, and given his ability on the bump, the future is still very bright for him.