Halos to utilize bullpen depth to close games

With Street hurt, Bedrosian likely to get bulk of save opportunities

Halos to utilize bullpen depth to close games

OAKLAND -- The Angels will enter the 2017 season without having officially named a closer.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Monday that the Angels will determine ninth-inning duties based on matchups rather than have one set closer. Still, he stopped short of labeling it a closer-by-committee approach.

Angels schedule | Tickets

"It's not by committee," Scioscia said before the Angels' season opener against the A's. "I think we've got some really versatile arms that can pitch in high-leverage situations. I think you want to keep accruing that depth and have those guys there, so right now we're going to match up. If one guy obviously starts to separate himself and is a guy that is pitching to save games, so be it. I think we have a lot of versatility, a lot of good arms. We'll go about it that way."

While he might not have the official title, it's hard to envision the Angels not deploying right-hander Cam Bedrosian in most save situations early this season. Bedrosian, 25, enjoyed a breakout year in 2016, recording a 1.12 ERA over 40 1/3 innings before undergoing season-ending surgery in September to repair a blood clot in his pitching arm. He didn't miss a beat this spring, tossing nine scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts.

The Angels had planned on having Bedrosian compete with veterans Huston Street and Andrew Bailey for the closer job this spring, but Street strained his right lat in his first Cactus League outing and will likely be sidelined until late April.

With Street injured, Bedrosian seems likely to open the season as the interim closer, though Scioscia said the rest of the Angels' bullpen, with the exception of Yusmeiro Petit, could be in the back-end mix. (Since Petit is stretched out, Scioscia said he would prefer to save the veteran right-hander for possible extra-inning situations.) The Halos' relief corps is currently comprised of Bedrosian, Bailey, Petit, JC Ramirez, Bud Norris, Jose Alvarez and Blake Parker.

Worth noting

• Infielder Luis Valbuena, who has been out since March 22 with a strained right hamstring, is "making progress," Scioscia said.

"He's starting to swing off the tee, but not the type of running that you would need to see to be able to estimate when he's going to come back," Scioscia said. "He's still a couple weeks out."

• The Angels announced that right-hander Austin Adams cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake. Adams, acquired from the Indians in February, was designated for assignment on Saturday after posting a 9.82 ERA over 18 1/3 Cactus League innings.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.