Joe Smith named new Angels closer after demotion of Ernesto Frieri

By Ian O'Brien,

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have continued to struggle in the bullpen area, and Ernesto Frieri was demoted from his closer post after allowing the Washington Nationals to come back from a three-run deficit on Wednesday.

Joe Smith will take over as the Angels' closer, according to NBC Sports.

Frieri has struggled mightily in the 2014 season, allowing nine runs in 8.2 innings through 10 appearances. This gives him a 9.35 earned run average on the season.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Frieri is having mechanical problems and will likely not receive an eighth inning role.

Scioscia will instead administer a committee for setup duties, as reported by CBS Sports.

Smith has notched four holds in five opportunities with a 3.60 earned run average so far with the Angels. He has also struck out 11 batters in 10 innings.

Smith has 120 holds in 149 career chances, and he will look to transition his eighth-inning success into the closer role.

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