Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Thursday that he will "match up more" in the ninth inning, rather than use righthander Ernesto Frieri exclusively as his closer, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
The move was made after Frieri blew saves in his last two appearances, last Saturday against the Kansas City Royals and Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers, "to take a little pressure off a guy whose confidence is not quite where it should be," Scioscia said.
"His last couple of outings haven't been as crisp. The back end of the bullpen is fragile. Ernie is going to get the ball in important situations, whether it's the eighth or ninth inning. When you're matching up, which we've done for most of the year, those outs in eighth are as important as the ones in ninth." Righthander Kevin Jepsen and lefthander Scott Downs are the other pitchers who figure in the Angels' new closer-by-committee. The two have only a combined 29 career saves, although 11 of those (nine by Downs) have come this season.