Is José Valdéz A Lock To Be In The Bullpen?

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Updated: March 19, 2017

The Angels are looking to bounce back after arguably having their toughest season since the turn of the century. Hardly anything really went their way amidst it all other than perhaps Mike Trout winning his second AL MVP trophy. However, the team lost a myriad of games notwithstanding Trout’s behemothic year. And let’s not forget that the overall health of the club was poor (with poor being a bit of an understatement).

One of the departments that lacked great health was their bullpen. Although health did indeed plague the pen, part of the problem stemmed from a generally ineffective bunch. This may seem relatively unfair to say given that there were stretches when a lot of innings had to be absorbed if a starter did not make it too far. At the same time, however, it is the job of the bullpen to not let things get out of hand as the saying is derived. It is definitely close to the top of the list on a hypothetical job description, if not at the very top.

There are a quite a few interesting pieces that Scioscia could use this year in the later innings. One specific piece the team’s brass should not ignore at the time being is José Valdéz. Now, all of his numbers from last year do not necessarily leap out at one in the blink of an eye. He posted a 4.24 ERA in the 25 games he appeared in. In said span, he walked 16 batters as well (which is not too attractive to soak in, either). However, this spring Valdéz has been pitching rather well all things considered.

The reliever is 2-0 in the 7 games he has been a part of. Hitters have not fared well against him in terms of having only tallied a grand total of 3 hits off the hurler. This equates to a .130 BA. Therefore, it is safe to convey that the reliever is worth mentioning when it comes to potential options in the bullpen.

There are only a few spots available in general on the team. In spite of this truth, Valdéz could very well earn one of them if he continues to pitch at a high octane level. In fact, he could possibly be a sneaky, not all too costly weapon in 2017. Scioscia will likely need to see a little more work from the pitcher to better make the decision, but José should not be slept on by any means.

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