Fuentes offers a preview

It was a glimpse of things to come for Angels fans: Brian Fuentes, facing lefty-swinging Eric Chavez with two on and one out, and down goes Chavez swinging. When another southpaw swinger, Jack Cust, flied to left, Fuentes was out of a jam he’d created for himself with a pair of one-out singles.

Fuentes is the closer, but we can expect to see him in eighth-inning situations occasionally such as this along the way: two on, tough lefty bats coming up. He sees himself as a closer who doesn’t mind coming in for an out now and then in the eighth — as long as he gets to finish. Fuentes gives Mike Scioscia a feared southpaw specialist. As good as Darren Oliver has been, that’s not who he is. Oliver is just as effective against right-handed hitters as lefties, and he’s a guy you want in games for at least an inning.

The Angels’ bullpen will have a different look this season with what Fuentes provides. Scioscia won’t hesitate to let Scot Shields or Jose Arredondo close games if necessary on occasion –the former domain of K-Rod and K-Rod only.   

2 Comments

Do I need to read between the lines?

Will Shields or Jose close if Fuentes gets 4 outs the night before?

Did Scioscia not use F-Rod in the 8th with men on because of his propensity to let inherited runners score or didn’t F-Rod want to come in?

Thanks!

Fuentes in the eighth will be only an occasional thing, for special situations. He’s the ninth-inning guy. Scioscia knows how to manage a bullpen as well as anybody I’ve ever seen. It remains to be seen if K-Rod will miss the only manager he’s ever had. None of these guys — Fuentes, Shields, Arredondo — will be burned up. There’s too much quality depth behind them with Oliver, Speier, Jepsen or Bulger — to force anything.

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