As the Angels bullpen bungled away six leads in the first 22 games of the season, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto had good reason to look back on the winter and wonder what he could have done to forestall the relief issues that are likely to haunt them this season.
But the Angels GM says he has no regrets about his decision to make only modest changes in the bullpen, signing bargain veterans LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen.
"What was I going to do? Who was out there?" Dipoto said. "Should we have signed Ryan Madson (who underwent Tommy John surgery in March)? Should we have signed Francisco Cordero? Should we have traded for Andrew Bailey (out with an elbow injury)? That's what happens on the free-agent market with relievers.
"Frankly, it's April. There are 30 clubs and truth be told we're not the only one with bullpen issues. ... We just have been in a situation where it's biting us at the wrong time. There's not a lot we can do. We're going to have to grin and bear it."
There has been very little to grin about when Angels manager Mike Scioscia waves for a reliever. The Angels' only reliable reliever has been LHP Scott Downs who was moved to the closer role, replacing RHP Jordan Walden.
"Believe me, we have not been short on pounding the pavement, trying to think creatively," Dipoto said of the search for bullpen help. "Right now, the best we can do is provide a band aid and help guys along.
"These are guys we trust to do the job. We're going to have to dig down and get it done. There aren't a lot of options (to acquire help) right now."