CLEVELAND -- Last year it was Scot Shields. Now it is Scott Downs, the free-agent signee, most recently of Toronto, who is providing the bullpen leadership for such young arms as closer Jordan Walden and Bobby Cassevah.
"Everything's going good," said Cassevah, who used his heavy sinker to deliver two innings and wrap up Sunday's victory at Baltimore. "I'm breathing a little better, slowing the game down. I'm throwing the sinker for strikes and not trying to nitpick. That's how I get in trouble.
"One of the big things Downs talks about is, when the crowd gets loudest, that's when you need to slow it down. He's my mentor out there. Shields was my guy last year; now it's Downs. He's always there. You feel like you can go up and have a conversation with him."
Downs, whose 1.32 ERA in 34 innings has been a major factor in the Angels' moving to eight games above .500, is the unofficial captain of the bullpen as far as Cassevah is concerned.
"He's a country boy," said Cassevah, discovered by super-scout Tom Kotchman as a 34th-round Draft pick in 2004. "It makes us kind of click. We went out to dinner [on Sunday] night. He bought us sushi. We had a good time. Anything you can learn from older guys is great for us younger guys."
Walden, no fan of sushi, passed on the meal.
Cassevah, 25, has a 3.38 ERA in nine appearances and is holding opposing hitters to a .163 batting average.