Angels left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter loves to pitch against right-handed hitters, especially in Sunday night’s optional workout.
Buchter doesn’t mind watching the likes of Josh Hamilton and David Freese, some of the Angels’ best power hitters, swinging.
“I make sure the ball is where it’s supposed to be,” he said. “I make sure I’m delivering. For the most part, when they swing and miss, it’s my mistake. When they hit the ball, it’s like, ‘Thank you God.’”
Garrett Richards (pectoral strain) won’t pitch this spring and could be out until May. That leaves several unknowns in the Angels bullpen, even though the team has recently picked up Buchter’s option.
How will Buchter do with his fastball velocity hitting 95 mph? How will he do in his third year in the bullpen after going 3-0 with 10 saves and a 2.22 earned-run average last season?
“I feel more confident this spring than last,” he said. “I didn’t pitch with velocity all last year. I’m always working on that, and I feel like I have more control of my fastball.
“I’m confident in my back-end guys. I’m confident in my front-end guys. We’re going to be all right.”
And he’s not afraid to face Hamilton and Freese.
“I love doing that,” he said. “I love having competition. I love competing against players who are in my position. It’s fun.”