SARASOTA, FLA. — Jason Bulger made the Angels' Opening Day roster each of the past four years and seemed like a reliever to watch for the Twins this spring, but his first two appearances have been hard on the eyes.
The 33-year-old righthander allowed four runs on four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday's 6-0 loss to the Orioles after giving up five earned runs in one-third of an inning on Saturday against the Red Sox.
"Obviously that's the worst start I can imagine coming into camp with a new team," said Bulger, whose ERA actually dropped from 135.00 to 81.00. "I just have to put things together. There's no other reason behind it. I just have to put the ball over the plate where I need it to go."
Signed to a minor league deal, he hopes to find the form that helped him post a 3.56 ERA in 64 games for the Angels in 2009. His fastball looks OK for spring training -- 88 to 89 mph -- but he keeps missing his spots.
"He's a veteran, trying to get through it," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's fighting himself a little bit mentally."