Scioscia could shake up shaky 'pen

Scioscia could shake up shaky 'pen

SEATTLE -- The numbers aren't lying to Angels manager Mike Scioscia when it comes to his bullpen, so something has to change.

Entering Wednesday night's game against the Mariners at Safeco Field, the Angels bullpen had logged a 6.06 ERA in May, giving up 33 earned runs in 49 innings, after posting a collective 2.43 ERA in April. The bullpen had allowed 21 earned runs in its last 22 2/3 innings, and Angels relievers led the American League with nine losses and nine blown saves.

Scioscia was asked about the arms in the bullpen, and their roles and where each pitcher stood within that hierarchy. He said Jordan Walden will remain the closer and intimated that Scott Downs will get the majority of the setup innings, but the skipper didn't make any definitive statements beyond that -- just that the bullpen has to perform better as a whole.

"[It's] maybe a little unsettled," Scioscia said. "There are some guys that need to get into their game down there, and they're important to us. We definitely need a guy like Kevin Jepsen to pitch the way he can. He's shown some flashes of it. [The same goes for] Fernando Rodney. And get contributions from Scott Downs and the rest of the guys that will get the ball into our closer's hands.

"Jordan Walden is a power arm that we want to keep at the back end, and we have a lot of confidence that once he gets his feet on the ground he's really going to take off. Getting to him is really an issue of importance for us to get depth in that setup role, whether it be one guy or two guys or three guys."

Scioscia hinted that Downs will be the primary setup man moving forward, but he wouldn't set that in stone either.