The Los Angeles Angels’ general manager Jerry Dipoto recently announced on MLB Network Radio that they will be using Ernesto Frieri as their closer next season. This would seem to eliminate them from the free agent market that includes two key closers out on the market, Grant Balfour and Joe Nathan.
What does this mean for the Texas Rangers?
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) November 23, 2013
Frieri in 2013 pitched in 67 games over 68.2 innings. He earned 37 out of 41 chances with an ERA of 3.80. While Frieri’s number of saves put him near the top for all closers in 2013, his ERA was among the worst in 2013.
During the 2013 season, Frieri had some of his worst luck against the Texas Rangers. During the 2013 season against the Rangers, he had an ERA of 13.50 and only recorded 1 save out of 8 games.
The Texas Rangers also enjoy almost the best batting average against Ernesto Frieri last year with a batting average of .455/.486/.1.030/.1.516, which included 6 home runs.
This has not just been a 2013 stat, the Texas Rangers have always hit well against Frieri. For his career, he has an 8.10 ERA against the Rangers and allowed hitters to have a batting average of .300/.359/.714/.1.073
One of the most recent success against Frieri was when they managed to win 4 walk off wins in row against the Angels. They started it on July 29 in the bottom of the 9th. A.J. Pierzynski managed to hit a home run off of him to tie the game. Nelson Cruz followed with a single, only to leave the bag with a David Murphy double play ball. But, Geovany Soto saved the day with another home run off of Frieri.
Frieri had another blown save the next night when Adrian Beltre hit a ground ball single to drive in Ian Kinsler for the game tying run. Ernesto was switched out in the 10th, but this was another game where they managed to get to the Angels’ closer and win in walk off fashion.
Ernesto Frieri made an estimated $500,000 last year and will be a free agent in 2017. It is a bit surprising that the Angels are not making a move to bring in another closer, but for Texas Rangers fans, this is a good thing. Last year, each time the Angels dipped into their bullpen, the bats came to life. Things seem to be setup for this again in 2014.
The Angels do keep bringing in big names, but mainly big bats. Without some big arms to back them up, the Angels are likely to struggle again next season.
It will be interesting to see how Frieri will pitch this year, if history holds, the Texas Rangers shouldn’t have an issues.