Clearly, the trade yesterday was an odd one. As the Angels seek to shore up their weak bullpen, they make a move that on the surface appears great – Ernesto Frieri traded! Great – but who did we get? Frieri in different clothing? There is really not much good to say about this trade except that Scioscia can no longer put Frieri in to situations where he doesn’t belong. Shortly after Frieri got demoted to closer AGAIN, he almost blow the game on Thursday, giving up 3 runs in the top of the 9th. Dipoto must have said “screw you Scioscia”, I’m sending him far away where you can’t take him out to play again.
So… that brings us to Jason Grilli from the Pirates and about the best thing you can say about him is that he was only demoted from closer once this year. Though to be fair, that’s more a statement on management. Let’s look at some stats.
ERA 3.80/2.70Saves 37/33
Blown Saves 4/2
HR allowed 11/4
Blown Saves 3/4
HR allowed 8/4
So, as you can see, there is not a lot of difference between the two. At least Grilli gives up a few less home runs than Frieri but he’s already blown more saves this year. Grilli at 37 years old is almost a decade older than Frieri. Frieri at least has time to correct his problems and be a decent pitcher again. Grilli could be on way out ala Raul Ibanez. Dipoto seems to like guys who may be past their glory days. Time will tell if that is the case for Grilli but one thing for sure is that he does very little, if anything to shore up the Angels bullpen. Let’s hope a change of scenery is all he needed. In the end, depsite Frieri’s problems this year, the Angels seemed to have drawn the short end of this stick, and if history is any relevance here, Frieri will start pitching better when he gets up from under Butcher’s wing.