World news – The angels bullpen is still in progress


ANAHEIM – Six weeks of spring training in Arizona wasn’t enough to get the angels bullpen in order for the regular season.

They kept tinkering after coming home Sunday night to start the Freeway series against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium, and were working on getting the Noe Ramirez relief mug back after they announced the mug of relief Ty Buttrey to vote for Triple-A.

Ramirez, one of two players the Angels traded for Raisel Iglesias for Cincinnati in December, was fired by the Reds early Sunday after the 31-year-old earned eleven runs (six) in six innings at the Cactus League had admitted.

« Noe did a good job here last year, » said manager Joe Maddon, admitting the Angels spoke to the right-handed man, who had a 2020 ERA of 3.00.

Dropping Buttrey was a slight surprise. But Maddon said the Angels wanted Buttrey to stay at their alternate training location in Tempe, Arizona, to regain the consistency the right-hander missed in his third season in the Major League.

« It got to a point where you didn’t know what to expect, » Maddon said of Buttrey, who will turn 28 on Wednesday March 31st.

Buttrey’s downgrade increases the chances of Chris Rodriguez joining the Angels season opener squad against the White Sox on Thursday April 1, after voting for the fourth round of 2016 for most of 2018 and missed 2019 with previous editions and 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor league season.

« We think he can make a difference, » said Maddon. « It will be necessary not to push it too hard. Since we haven’t served much in the past, it will take a lot of strategy. »

Before Sunday, Buttrey, Rodriguez, Jaime Barria and left-hander Patrick Sandoval were battling alongside Iglesias , Mike Mayers, Junior Guerra and the leftist Alex Claudio for the last three places in the Bullpen. Now Ramirez Buttrey’s place in this competition could be taken.

The angel’s bullpen just seems to be high after 2020. Maddon sounded hopeful.

« There’s a lot to like. A lot, » Maddon said on Sunday. « I always think it takes about three weeks to a month to figure out your bullpen in the first part of the season. Some guys will do better when we thought others weren’t as good as we thought.  »

When a Ramirez signed on the table, the manager added, « We may not have finished putting this thing together yet. »

The Angels plan to beat Shohei Ohtani (0-2, 7.88 this spring) when he kicks off the second game of the Freeway series on Monday at Dodger Stadium.

This is the second time this spring that Ohtani has beaten in a game he plays, and that could happen frequently during the season, but Maddon said it will be a case-by-case decision.

« It’s about how his body feels and how much rest it needs, » said Maddon, who gave Ohtani the night off on Sunday. « Nothing has been finalized yet other than making sure we communicate by the days he is on the pitch. »

It is likely that Ohtani will finish second in the line-up and Mike Trout third.

Ohtani will try to resort to three or four innings – and at least two bats – on his last spring start, Maddon said

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The Angels announced their starting mugs after Dylan Bundy on the opening day for the four-game series at home against the White Sox.

Andrew Heaney will start on Friday, Alex Cobb on Saturday and Ohtani on Sunday, and Jose Quintana would wait to open the home series against the Astros.

Maddon said he preferred to throw right-handed at the White Sox, and Quintana is a left-handed. So does Heaney, but it works against right-handers.

Heaney started on Sunday against a Dodgers line-up with seven regulars and gave the home races to Max Muncy, Gavin Lux and Corey Seager, all of them left-handers.

Angels assigned to the Angels alternative training location are expected to play four or five games a week against other teams, Maddon said.

The manager called this a « wonderful » improvement over 2020 when baseball introduced alternate locations with no minor leagues but players were limited to intrasquad games.

With the Angels moving from Long Beach to Tempe this season and the Dodgers, Padres and Diamondbacks in Arizona, these teams can play against each other.

A new sight at Angel Stadium is the logo for the 60th anniversary of the Angels, which is displayed near the flagpoles behind the fence in the left center field.

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