Walden adjusting to closer's role

Walden adjusting to closer's role

ANAHEIM -- Jordan Walden is quietly learning the feast or famine nature of a Major League closer's life. His work load hinges almost entirely on how the team is doing.

When it's not producing late leads to protect, a guy in his position can go days without getting the call. Then he can be summoned four times in a five-day period.

"This past week I didn't throw for four days," Walden said, referring to the duration of a sweep by Boston at Angel Stadium. "Then I got in a game. It's something to adjust to. It feels a little different at first, but once you get an out, you're fine."

Walden has been better than fine. In 10 1/3 innings and 11 appearances, he has yet to surrender an earned run. He has been touched for four hits and is holding the opposition to a .114 batting average. The Texan has 10 strikeouts against five walks.

"It's building up," he said when asked about his fastball, which regularly hit triple digits in his September trial last fall but has been in the 96-99 range thus far. "That was the end of the season, and my arm strength was there. It's still early. My arm strength is building."