Right-handed closer Ernesto Frieri knew he was fighting to keep his job during the second half of the season last year. Frieri blew two consecutive saves against the Texas Rangers back in August of 2013 but Angels manager Mike Scoscia continued to back Frieri.
Ernesto told reporters that he was going to die standing up like a warrior and that he wouldn’t give up. Now it appears that his time as the closer for the Los Angeles Angels is up. According to Alden Gonzalez on Twitter, Angels manager Mike Scoscia has demoted Frieri from the closer role and handed it to Joe Smith.
Scioscia says he’ll indeed go with Joe Smith in the ninth for now. #Angels
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 25, 2014
The words ‘for now’ doesn’t sound that promising. So Smith knows that he’s going to have to do whatever he possibly can to make sure that he stays on Mike’s good side or else he’ll find himself in the same boat as the recently demoted Frieri.
Frieri has put up a terrible 9.35 ERA over 10 appearances while Smith has a decent 3.24 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings.