The Los Angeles Angels made several additions to their roster during the offseason, including Brett Phillips, who was signed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.
The veteran outfielder is coming off a season with the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles that saw him hit a combined .144/.217/.249 with six doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI in 83 games.
Phillips has continued to struggle with the Angels in Spring Training as he is batting just .083/.154/.292 across 26 plate appearances through 12 Cactus League games.
Phillips expected the slow start as he is still trying to find his timing after changing his swing during the offseason, via Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“We knew this was going to be part of it, right?” Phillips said. “Trying to get 15 to 20 at-bats to get my timing down before we start assessing the mechanical things too deeply. Just getting back to seeing live pitching, because in the offseason it was all mechanical.”
Phillips said he made drastic adjustments but is confident he will eventually begin to see positive results:
“There are 15 to 20 things I have corrected,” Phillips said. “It’s all new. It’s like picking up a baseball bat for the first time, but with baseball experience.”
Phillips remains “really confident,” he said, that the changes will show results as he gets his timing, which only comes with facing more big-league pitching this spring.
Angels manager Phil Nevin understands what Phillips is going through and acknowledged it will take some time before the hard work pays off:
“He’s certainly made some swing changes,” Nevin said. “You start facing live major-league pitching, it takes some time for you to get those things down. You got to keep trusting what that process is, keep trusting the stuff that you worked on. And it will show up in a game at some point.”
Phillips is fourth on the Angels’ outfield depth chart and figures to receive occasional starts against right-handed pitching if he breaks camp with the team. However, most of his value will likely still come on defense.
Angels prospect Zach Neto making the most of his time in Spring Training
The Angels’ No. 2 ranked prospect Zach Neto is in the midst of an impressive spring, and while he isn’t expected to make the Opening Day roster, he has enjoyed being in big league camp.
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