Who Will Close Games For The Los Angeles Angels In 2014?
The Los Angeles Angels have a great deal of work to be done to their roster this winter, whether you look at the addition or subtraction aspect of it. There are some notable names that could be shipped out, and the Halos will likely at least consider a few additions, whether through free agency or trade.
One of the intriguing aspects of this team heading into next season is who could end up getting the ball in the ninth inning. The club signed Ryan Madson last winter, and the assumption was that he would be the guy. He was never healthy and ended up getting released at the tail end of the year.
Ernesto Frieri built on a strong first season with the Angels and nailed down the job for the most part. He did struggle at certain points, including a stretch in the second half of the year. Which led to Dane De La Rosa getting some looks as the man on the bump in the ninth inning for LAofA.
One would have to imagine that Frieri would be the guy to get the job again heading into next season. After he was temporarily demoted from his role as the closer for the Angels, he was able to clear his head and get things back together, even with De La Rosa breathing down his neck.
And De La Rosa was impressive in his own right as well. He may be a late inning guy, and could step in in the event of an injury or another Frieri meltdown. In the event that they do pursue outside options, there are a number of veterans which have experience closing, though many of them are upper 30′s and have their best days behind them. Not to mention, they might cost more than the Angels would want to pay.
In the end, expect Frieri to get the ball in the ninth in 2014. It wouldn’t be surprising, though, to see the Angels bring in additional competition, as well as give De La Rosa a crack at it again. Stay tuned.