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2019 Season Preview: Bullpen Battle - The fight for roster spots

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels-Workouts Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Most likely, there will not be many HUGE surprises as to who lands roster spots coming out of spring training, but let’s take a look at the bullpen options.

In the below lists, I’ve designated players who still have options with an asterisk *

If you are to believe Angels.com, it looks like this:

  1. Cody Allen
  2. Keynan Middleton
  3. Justin Anderson*
  4. Cam Bedrosian
  5. Noe Ramirez
  6. Hansel Robles
  7. Jake Jewell*
  8. Ty Buttrey*
  9. Taylor Cole*

I included 9 guys there since Middleton will start on the DL.

According to RosterResource.com, it looks like:

  1. Cody Allen
  2. Ty Buttrey*
  3. Hansel Robles
  4. Justin Anderson*
  5. Cam Bedrosian
  6. Noe Ramirez
  7. Dan Jennings
  8. Luis Garcia

Potential options that were not on either list:

  • Williams Jerez*
  • John Curtiss*
  • Daniel Hudson*
  • Jeremey Rhoades*
  • Matt Ramsey*
  • Luke Bard*
  • Ryan Clark*
  • Miguel Almonte

Guys that are probably a lock:

  1. Cody Allen - Duh! Allen will take over closing duties this year.
  2. Hansel Robles - Robles was a nice surprise last year, bouncing back from a rough 2017.
  3. Cam Bedrosian - Yes, he’ll be on the opening day roster. Bedrosian has no options left so he’s a sure thing on opening day.
  4. Noe Ramirez - Ramirez did not have a great season in 2018 - especially the second half. Given that he’s out of options, the Angels aren’t likely to cut ties with him before the season starts unless his spring is a mess.
  5. Dan Jennings - The new dude, and left replacement for Jose Alvarez. He’s not current on the 40 man roster but will likely be moved there before the season starts.
  6. Luis Garcia - The other new dude who could lose his spot with a rough spring but he’s also out of options.

Likely making the cut:

  • Ty Buttrey - Buttrey has options, but it’s hard to imagine a situation in which he doesn’t make the opening day roster based on what he did in 2018.
  • Justin Anderson - Another pleasant surprise in 2018 but he grew more and more wild as the season went on. He has a good shot of making the roster but is not a lock.

Next Tier

  • Jake Jewell - Only 2 IP in 2018 due to a freak injury. We’ll see him at some point, just maybe not to start the season.
  • Taylor Cole - Cole is a guy who could bump Anderson or someone above for a spot if he has a good spring.

Depending on how the season shakes out, all of these guys below could see some time on the big league roster but it is HIGHLY unlikely any of them make the cut for the 25-man. Instead, they’ll be keeping the bullpen bench warm in Salt Lake for much or the season.

  • Williams Jerez*
  • John Curtiss*
  • Daniel Hudson*
  • Jeremey Rhoades*
  • Matt Ramsey*
  • Luke Bard*
  • Ryan Clark*
  • Miguel Almonte