Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia almost implemented the strategy to have closer Cam Bedrosian face the heart of the Seattle Mariners order in the eighth inning Sunday.
Last Friday night, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was prepared to do something he almost never does. He planned to use his best reliever, Cam Bedrosian, to begin the eighth inning of a game his team led, because the opposition’s best hitters were due to bat next.
Though the game’s circumstances changed and he did not act, he later acknowledged that the thought was there.
Then, on Saturday night, Scioscia formulated another unusual decision, this time acting on it. He asked Bedrosian to get five outs in a one-run game in order to secure an Angels victory.
Viewed together, the moves mark a different approach to bullpen management than what Scioscia outlined during the offseason.
Since Huston Street was acquired in 2014, the Angels’ closer has been used almost exclusively when the club was leading in the ninth inning. Street also pitched at times in games where the score was tied in the eighth inning or when the Angels trailed by a run or two.
But Street was never used in the situation that Scioscia was contemplating using Bedrosian on Friday, when the Angels led the visiting Seattle Mariners by three runs headed into the bottom of the seventh inning.
As it turned out, Kole Calhoun homered to stretch the Angels’ lead to 5-1 and Scioscia went with Andrew Bailey to pitch the top of the eighth.
Asked about his decision, Scioscia at first said he did not plan to use Bedrosian for all six remaining outs — which Street was never asked to do as an Angel, either. But then Scioscia acknowledged that he might have done exactly that, depending on the circumstance.
“Well, I think we’d see where he was, and how much he might have had,” Scioscia said. “But we definitely wanted to match up in the middle with Cam, until the game got to be 5-1.”
Scioscia has faced questions about bullpen management all spring, especially after Street succumbed to injuries and Bailey struggled during Cactus League games.
“If you’re asking what our bullpen structure is, it’s still evolving,” Scioscia said last month.
The first week of the season showed that to be true.
Shift in shifting?
Here’s another trend to monitor:
In the season’s first week, the Angels used a standard defensive alignment less often than any other major league team, according to data compiled by Fangraphs.com.
In 164 plate appearances by opposing hitters, the Angels utilized some type of defensive shift 89 times.
Scioscia said his team is using the same decision-making process based on the same data as last season, when the Angels ranked sixth in shifts.
“It continues to be refined,” he said, “but it’s the same process.”
Asked about the number of shifts in the first week, Scioscia said it did not indicate a major shift in philosophy.
“Those reports are sensitive to who’s pitching for us and the team we’re playing,” Scioscia said. “I think that’s going to be just the luck of the draw. Some guys are going to show more shifts against certain pitchers than others. Sometimes our data has us in different spots with the same hitter with different pitchers, which you would expect.”
The Angels begin a three-game series against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. The series includes one of only two weekday day games scheduled to take place at Angel Stadium this season, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m., a pitching matchup between Yu Darvish and Ricky Nolasco. … The Rangers also were idle Monday. They are 2-4 after being swept by the Cleveland Indians in a season-opening three-game series.
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles TimesSeattle Mariners
- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker looks more comfortable in second outing
- Angels looking for an effective bullpen, even without the 100-mph relievers
- Angels' Yunel Escobar on verge of becoming a U.S. citizen
- Angels reliever Huston Street out 3-4 weeks because of strained back
- Angels' Andrew Heaney won't rule out return from surgery this season
- After losing weight, Angels' Huston Street is ready to shed a difficult 2016 season
- Angels' Matt Shoemaker feels good as he comes back from line drive to the head and brain surgery
- How Will A More Conservative Supreme Court Address LGBTQ Rights? Look To History
- Italy avalanche: 7 survivors rescued from buried hotel
- Jose Bautista strikes 1-year deal with Blue Jays: reports
You might also like
- Tribute at Alex Theatre to honor the Band
- Trump pushes historic cuts in global health aid, stoking fears of new disease outbreaks and diminished U.S. clout
- Trying to keep up with the latest Trump news? Some stories you should pay attention to
- Lawmakers have put a lot of energy into getting new stadiums built — without much success
- Trump to dismantle Obama's landmark climate effort
- These are the 19 agencies Trump would stop funding entirely
- What will it mean to get rid of the 'administrative state'? Trump’s first budget will offer a glimpse
- Trump budget would reignite California's financial strains
- After intense public anger, Republicans waver over slashing Obama-era action on methane gas
- This is how states will fight Trump's energy order
- Political Road Map: Sacramento's closed-door dealmaking didn't go away with Proposition 54
- Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court nominee
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- Chemistry onstage makes Faith Hill and Tim McGraw a top tour
- I’m Taking A Break From Social Activism And OMG I Need Like Everyone I Know To Read About This
- 5 'Fate Of The Furious' Moments So Unnecessary, They're Necessary
- Noah Cyrus Reveals Her Next Tattoo & Dishes On Her Famous Family
- The Lonely Island Tell The Story Of How 'Dear Sister' Came To 'SNL'
- 'Marketplace' is America's most popular business show. Now it has ambitious plans to expand
- United fiasco shows airlines' power over passengers — and how it might change
- 'I really did it for my daughters': L.A. radio host Wendy Walsh on why she spoke out against Bill O'Reilly
- Trump backs Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, but advertisers keep fleeing
- IFC swings for the comedy fences with Funny or Die's 'Brockmire'
- MGM to spend $1 billion for full control of the Epix movie service
- YouTube TV launches today. It has some cool features and some big drawbacks
- 'Boss Baby' to sack 'Smurfs,' and other box office predictions
- Meet the new faces aboard 'Mystery Science Theater 3000's' Satellite of Love
- Werner Herzog wouldn't live anyplace other than Los Angeles, 'the city with the most substance'
- 'A blemish on America': The arts world reacts to proposed cuts in Trump's budget
- Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment is getting into the booming, competitive animation business
- Fox News faces another sexual harassment claim as Mercedes and Hyundai pull ads from 'O'Reilly Factor'
- Roman Polanski is denied latest bid to resolve 40-year-old statutory rape case
- Settlements of more sexual harassment claims against Bill O'Reilly are reported