Closer by committee may be only answer for Angels’ bullpen

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Justin Anderson picked up his first-career save Monday night for the Angels so Mark Gubicza and Victor Rojas debate whether he is a viable option to take over the closer role or if the Halos need to pursue a different option

- Who's going to close the bullpen? This is a very good Angels team. Just you can't go out right now and make a trade. You don't want to overpay. So what do you think is the future for that bullpen?

- Patrick, I think on the heels of what you just said, too, I don't think there's teams that are willing to trade pieces as of right now. I think it's still too early. Especially, if you're talking about like the Kansas City Royals. That Central Division's being led by a team that's at .500 right now. So you never know. So that's going to play out.

And I think, Gubie, going into this season, I don't know that Mike Scioscia really knew who his closer was going to be. I know that Keynan Middleton was given an opportunity early. He capitalized on it. He went on the DL, came back, and now he's back on the DL for an extended period of time. But there are guys out there that we could see kind of perhaps filling that role.

I thought Justin Anderson last night, for me, is that guy. He kind of profiles as a type closer because of the stuff that he possesses.

- Yeah, you're exactly right, Victor. 10 and 1/3 innings pitched, 15 strikeouts so far this season. You're talking about an 99-mph hour fastball on a consistent basis. And he has a wipeout slider. He'll throw that from 87 to 90 range. You throw it for a strike, you get a swing and miss.

So when you think about it, he picked up his first career save last night. He will get some opportunities. But there's going could be a lot of opportunities for a number of pitchers down there.

- Yeah, I mean Jim Johnson's a guy that has had closing opportunities in the past and was successful, many years ago. And he's been given a couple of those opportunities. Well, Blake Parker's pitching a little bit better, like he did last year, this month has been fantastic. And don't-- don't discount Jose Alvarez. Because he's got the ability to come in and neutralize both righties and lefties this year.

- I really think, Victor, it's going to depend on the situation, especially if there's a couple of lefties in there late in that ninth inning, you're going to see Jose Alvarez in opportunities. He's throw the ball exceptionally well when you think about it this season. His fastball velocity's been anywhere between 90 and 93 on a consistent basis. He still has a good feel for his changeup, his slider's been good.

Jim Johnson's another one. If there's somebody on base in that ninth inning, he is a ground ball specialist. He get that ground ball double play. Blake Parker, though, is kind of the wildcard. Again, he's picking up that velocity in his fastball. It's back up to 93. We saw 93 to 95 all last year. Better split-finger fastball that's going straight down as compared to lateral move early in the season. So he is getting better.

There's some options for Mike Scoscia. I think it's going to play out who has a better feel for that particular game and what the situation is in the lineup. I think, you know, seventh inning might be the time you see some of those guys in there, then it moves around to the ninth inning. So again, there's no real great answer as far as who's going to be the closer. Closer by committee, I guess, would be the best way to describe it.

- I think-- Patrick as we send it back down to you-- I think the best way to describe it is the fact that he did not have a closer coming out of Spring Training. So I don't know why all of a sudden we would think, or fans would think, that he's going to name or anoint someone as a closer beginning now in the middle of May. Going forward, I think it's going to have to play out like Gubie said. It's going to be a mix and match.

We've seen that already. We've seen Justin Anderson thrown into the fire in Houston in his home town and come up big. So I think he's starting to give those guys those opportunities. And we'll see how it presents itself moving forward.