According to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, Huston Street has officially been acquired by the division-rival Angels. The Angel bullpen has been their Achilles’ Heel this season, and the addition of Street should give Angel fans some extra confidence in the latter innings.
To get the deal done, a plethora of prospects was sent to the Padres, with one accompanying Huston Street to the Angels, making this a 6-player deal.
The deal does wonders for the Angel bullpen, slotting Street (1.09 ERA) directly into the closer role, with Joe Smith (2.27) and Kevin Jepsen (2.03) filling in the 7th and 8th innings in some fashion. If new addition Jason Grilli continues to have success with the Angels, he could also be given a larger role in the ‘pen.
With the addition of Huston Street, and the aforementioned other 3 relievers all pitching well, the game is significantly shortened for the Angels. Instead of being on pins and needles waiting for the 27th out to be recorded, the Angels can now slot Jepsen and Smith into roles they are more accustomed to, and will likely perform well in.
Couple this improved bullpen with the highest-scoring offense in the bigs, and the Angels have legitimized themselves as true contenders. I have been discounting the Angels because they didn’t have enough pitching to compete with the Athletics, and have thought all along that the Seattle Mariners would be the team, if any, that could challenge the A’s. For my money, the Angels have entered that picture as well.
Yes, they entered the day only a game and a half back in the AL West, and would be leading any other division in baseball. Yet, if the offense were to go cold for a week or two, their pitching wasn’t going to be able to pick them up. Now they don’t have to rely on the heavy hitters to produce quite as much.
The last time the Athletics faced Huston Street was in 2012. They scored a run off of Street, but he still recorded the 4-out save. That season Street finished with a 1.85 ERA, which is still higher than his current clip of 1.09.
As we witnessed on Friday night, the Athletics can score against solid closers as well. Coming in to the game, Zach Britton was sporting a cool 1.30 ERA. On the way back the hotel, he was carrying a 1.86 with him, after allowing 3 runs without recording an out in the series opener.
While Huston Street undoubtedly is an acquisition that the Angels needed to have to become legitimate contenders this season, the Athletics have a knack for late-inning heroics, no matter who is tossing the ball in the 9th. We will just have to wait and see if the petulant knocking the Angels have been doing now results in the door being kicked in.