With Spring Training fully underway, the Los Angeles Angels welcomed former great Albert Pujols back into camp to help with instruction, and with a youthful starting staff, longtime Halos ace Jered Weaver is stating his case to be on that list.
Weaver made 331 career starts from 2006-to-2017, and all but nine came with the Angels, who drafted him in the first round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. Logging a career 3.63 ERA in 2067.1 innings, his rubber arm became a staple around the league for more than a decade.
He was never a huge strikeout starting pitcher, but what made him great was his consistent ability to get batters out. With seven of the Angels’ options in the rotation under the age of 27, Weaver posted to Twitter about wanting to be a part of organizational instruction since he stepped away from MLB after nine games in 2017:
Man what’s a guy gotta do to get an invite to spring? Zero calls since I retired.. kinda weird. Oh well.
— Jered Weaver (@Weave1036) February 25, 2023
Angels manager Phil Nevin has to manage his way around with a bevy of young arms in Patrick Sandoval (Age-26), José Suarez (25), Reid Detmers (23), Tucker Davidson (26), Chase Silseth (22), Chris Rodriguez (24) and Griffin Canning (26).
But aside from the roster, the club hasn’t been among the league leaders in welcoming former players back into the fold in advisor roles, something Nevin echoed, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“No offense to Jered,” Nevin said. “I love him. He’s a great guy. He’s been a great Angel. It’s not something that we wouldn’t look at in the future. And I’ll talk to him too. I didn’t realize it was hurting people’s feelings, but I think I’ve told you before, I’m not here to make friends or keep friends. I’m here to win games and I felt like a lot of those guys from that ’02 team being out here and being my teammates, knowing who they are, I thought it was important to get them here.”
Weaver was a favorite among fans, and his presence around big league camp and the Angels would be a boost for everyone. Now that the organization is in the process of welcoming in new voices around the team, his input with the pitching staff is one that shouldn’t be overlooked with how influential he was to the franchise for so many years.
Phil Nevin explains the ‘best guys’ will play for Angels this season
The team most notably bolstered their pitching staff with the signings of All-Star starter Tyler Anderson, relievers Carlos Estévez and Matt Moore, and upgraded their lineup and defense with the additions of Brandon Drury, Brett Phillips, Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela.
As it currently stands, the Angels are projected to have a platoon at first base and shortstop this season. While there are starters penciled in at the other positions, manager Phil Nevin said that could change and the best players will get the most playing time.
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