Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/1/12
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." NOTES, QUOTES Hunter breaks out of slump with first homer --RF Torii Hunter went without a home run through 60 at-bats in spring exhibitions and 19 games into the season before he hit his first home run of the year. But Hunter hit his third home run in four games Monday, a two-run homer in the Angels' 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Hunter also had an RBI single and has driven in six of the Angels' eight runs over their past four games. --LHP C.J. Wilson allowed three runs on five hits over 7 13 innings Monday to get the win over the Twins. It was the deepest Wilson has pitched in any of his first five starts this season. The win was his first as an Angel at Angel Stadium. His first two victories this season came on the road. --IF Jorge Cantu has exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league contract after not being promoted to the Angels before May 1. Cantu, 30, becomes a free agent. He hit .291 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 21 games for Class AAA Salt Lake. --1B Albert Pujols is one of five players since 1974 to start a season over 400 career home runs but go at least 80 at-bats into the season without a home runs, according to STATS LLC. He joined Willie McCovey (1974), Carl Yastrzemski (1981), Eddie Murray (1996) and Ken Griffey Jr. (2010). Pujols who has gone 92 at-bats without a home run this season. Pujols was 1-for-4 with a double in his first at-bat Monday. It was his first extra-base hit since he had three doubles in a game on April 19. Pujols has four hits in his past 38 at-bats and no RBI in his past 14 games. BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Time in April that the Angels won consecutive games (April 20-21). It was only the fifth time since 1970 that the Angels have gone a calendar month without winning back-to-back games more than once -- June 1974, June 1980, September 1983 and July 1998. QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's the guy who can get these guys back on track. He's a great teacher." -- Manager Mike Scioscia, when asked about hitting coach Mickey Hatcher's job security with the team's offense underachieving.
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