Los Angeles Angels: Cam Bedrosian deserves closer’s role upon return

April 8, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (32) throws in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
April 8, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (32) throws in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Bud Norris has been surprisingly effective as the Los Angeles Angels’ closer in Cam Bedrosian’s absence. However, the former closer deserves that role back when he returns from the DL.

Bud Norris has done everything he can to put the Los Angeles Angels in a pickle in regards to who will be the team’s closer moving forward. But despite the pressure the former starter is putting on management, former closer Cam Bedrosian deserves to reclaim his role as the Angels’ shutdown reliever.

One of the only bright spots in the Los Angeles Angels bullpen last season, Bedrosian had gone into 2017 with a firm grip on the ninth inning, especially considering the injury problems Huston Street was suffering from.

Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels /

Los Angeles Angels

The hard-throwing right-hander started this season the way he finished 2016, by dominating whenever he was on the bump. In six appearances, the 25-year-old did not allow a run or even a walk, while striking out nine batters in the just under seven frames he logged.

In addition, his stuff remained largely what he showed last year. The former first round pick still threw his heater in the mid-90s with the ability to pump it into the upper 90s. He also kept hitters off-balance with a 10 mph difference on his hard sweeping mid-80s slider.

All this considered, Bedrosian was on his way to becoming one of the better up-and-coming relievers in all of baseball when he experienced a major setback.

In late April, the Angels learned that their closer would be forced to the disabled list with a groin injury. What was once thought maybe to be a short-term deal turned into a month of rehab, as Bedrosian hasn’t seen the field since the time he landed on the DL.

However, just recently Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reported that Bedrosian was on track to return to the club this past week, but in some down news, Moura also stated that the right-hander reaggravated his previous groin injury in a rehab assignment.

This is a surprising development as it seemed that Bedrosian was making significant progress in his rehab for the past month. But still, even with his injury troubles, the former Angels closer deserves his job back once he finally returns to uniform.

There are many reasons why keeping Bedrosian at the back-end of the bullpen would be a wise move for the Angels. First off, the stats and arsenal prove that Bedrosian is the better pitcher when comparing himself and current closer Bud Norris.

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Norris is a 32-year-old former starting pitcher that has seen his stuff predictably play up out of the bullpen, as most converted starters do. However, he hasn’t been as dominant in the ninth inning as Bedrosian was when looking back toward the end of last season. Yes, Norris is striking out over 11 batters per nine innings, but he’s walking over four per nine as well. The veteran hurler has also struggled a bit in recent outings, even though overall there’s no denying that Norris has pitched well in that role.

However, Bedrosian has proven that he can handle the role and his youth signals that he will be the guy for the Angels moving forward. What’s the point in keeping Norris in that role if you’re only going to trade him before the July 31 trade deadline? He still holds value as a setup man and Bedrosian arguably has a higher upside as well.

It could take a few solid relief appearances when Bedrosian returns to have confidence in him as the closer moving forward, but the Angels as a franchise would be better served keeping him in that role considering his youth, outlook for the future and the fact that he hasn’t done anything while on the field to discourage members of the Angels organization from believing that he can be an above-average closer in the years to come.

Making him fight for his job would only increase the pressure on a pitcher who is returning from injury. Let him stay confident and in his role and see if he can continue to provide the team with the production that he has over the past year as a member of the Angels.

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Do you think it would be the right move to immediately have Bedrosian close for the Angels when he returns from the DL? Let us know the comment section below.