3 Position Battles to Watch for in Angels Camp

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Updated: February 13, 2017

Spring Training is just around the corner, and baseball fans are eagerly waiting for Opening Day. First we must get through March, and the Angels have a few positions that need to sorted out before the regular season.

Starting Rotation

The Angels have roughly eight pitchers battling for five spots in the rotation. Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Ricky Nolasco are already guaranteed spots. If Matt Shoemaker is healthy and ready to play, then he’ll be the fourth starter.

That leaves one spot open for Alex Meyer, Bud Norris, Jesse Chavez, and Yusmerio Petit. All four of them have experience pitching in both the rotation and bullpen. At least one of them if not two could possibly move to the bullpen if they don’t win a rotation spot.

Meyer will likely be sent to Triple-A if he doesn’t win it. Petit and Norris were brought in on minor-league deals and could be granted free agency. Chavez is signed through 2017 and will be with the Angels whether it’s in the rotation or bullpen. Right now Chavez is the front-runner, but all four have a legitimate shot at grabbing a role with the Angels.

Closer

That always reliable Huston Street had a horrendous 2016 campaign. Street has 12 years of MLB experience and prior to last season had never finished with an ERA over 4. In 2016 Street finished with a 6.45 ERA, and forced the Angels to consider other options at closer.

Veteran Andrew Bailey was re-signed after a strong performance with the Halos in August and September. A low risk situation for the Angels, but Bailey could be a huge impact player. He has 95 career saves, and won Rookie of the Year in 2009. Bailey has earned an opportunity to compete for the closer role in Spring Training.

The other candidate is likely future closer Cam Bedrosian. In 2016 Bedrosian went 2-0 1.12 ERA in 45 games with one save. He allowed only one home run in 40 innings pitched. A phenomenal job by such a young pitcher without much Major League experience. The Angels will likely ease Bedrosian into the closers role, but a strong performance in Spring Training could get him the job.

Catcher

Martin Maldonado and Carlos Perez are going to have a fierce battle for starting catcher. Both defense first type players, but have some power in their bats. Perez struggled heavily last season hitting .209 with five home runs and 31 RBI in 87 games with the Angels. Maldonado was the backup to Jonathan Lucroy in Milwaukee until Lucroy was traded to the Texas Rangers.

Maldonado became the starting catcher, but hit .202 with eight home runs and 21 RBI in 76 games. This could be the most interesting battle to watch in Angels camp. Neither player really has an advantage and their performance in Spring Training is what will earn one of them the starting job.

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