Angels hope Ernesto Frieri is a one-and-done closer this season

Angels closer Ernesto Frieri reacts after picking up the save against the Dodgers in June 2012.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Closer Ernesto Frieri led the major leagues last season with seven saves of at least four outs, including one in which he recorded six outs and two in which he got five outs. If all goes according to plan, the right-hander will not lead the league in that category this season.

“If it’s needed, we know we have it, but that’s something I think we can stay away from,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We want to keep him in that one-inning bubble, and if we have the level of setup relief we expect, that should be something we can do.”

Frieri, who went 2-4 with a 3.80 earned-run average and converted 37 saves of 41 save opportunities last season, doesn’t mind the extra work.


But with the addition right-handers Joe Smith and Fernando Salas, the expected return of left-hander Sean Burnett from elbow surgery and Kevin Jepsen, Dane De La Rosa and Michael Kohn adding depth, Frieri, who has not allowed a run in three games this spring, should carry less of a load.

“For some reason, I have a weird arm — whenever I throw two innings or pitch on consecutive days, I feel better,” Frieri said. “But I don’t think I’ll have to go more than one inning because our bullpen is really good right now. I think everyone is going to take care of their job, and I’m going to do the same thing.”