Mike Scioscia has gone back and forth between Joe Smith and Ernesto Frieri as closer this year, but now it appears that Scioscia is set on having Smith at the back end of the pen. At least for now:
#Angels Scioscia: "We're going to keep Joe in the back end for right now until Ernie gets his feet on the ground and his game comes back."
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) June 25, 2014
Joe Smith has pitched better than Frieri this season, and is deserving of the role, but Scioscia has made it known that Frieri is the guy he wants closing out games.
Smith’s role as closer might only be temporary, then, so he should thrive in it while he can to try and change his skipper’s mind.
After all Scioscia can’t take too many chances given that the team is actually in the playoff race this season. They lead the Wild Card race in the AL and are only four games back of the best team in baseball for the division lead.