Angels News: Phil Nevin Believes AL West Is One Of The Best Divisions In MLB
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels enter the 2023 season with question marks but feature a revamped roster than should be able to compete for a playoff spot. However, their road to October will not be easy.

Angels Manager Phil Nevin thinks incredibly highly of the American League West division because it includes the defending World Series Champions and several teams with playoff aspirations, which could ultimately prevent the Angels from reaching their goal.

It was a busy offseason for the AL West, especially with the influx of cash that allowed the Texas Rangers to sign Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney to multi-year deals, while bringing on surefire Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy as their skipper.

The Seattle Mariners, who ended their playoff drought in 2022, added a few veteran bats in Kolten Wong and Teoscar Hernández via trade to help their offense. The Houston Astros did lose reigning AL Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, but they also signed a former MVP in Jose Abreu.

The Angels executed their plan of an aggressive approach to adding depth in much-needed spots. Their pitfall last season was the inability to withstand injuries, and in their case, it was multiple. L.A. wwent out and added Hunter Renfroe, Tyler Anderson, Carlos Estevez, and Gio Urshela to help address their issues.

Nevin was guiding the ship for most of the season, trying to manage his way to a respectable finish and piecing a roster together with scotch tape and playdoh. Looking ahead to next season, he believes they’ll be facing one of the toughest, most-talented divisions in all of MLB.

“I mean, there’s no doubt. I think our division is one of the better in baseball. It’s getting better each day,” Nevin said. “I’m excited to go to compete against Boch a little bit, somebody that I’ve obviously been around quite a bit in my life.

“Our division is good. And we only have to play each other 12 times this year instead of 18 or 19, whatever it is. I can’t worry about those things.

“We’re not trying to compete — if somebody gets somebody, do we grab somebody else. We’ve just got to try to make us better and what’s going to help us compete towards the end of the season and put us in the position to be one of the last teams standing.

“What happens in our division, they’re able to do certain things, we’re able to do things.”

With the new schedule providing a slightly different wrinkle, the Angels and Nevin need to find a rhythm and retain some consistency that they lacked after a hot start to the 2022 season.

Phil Nevin loves new MLB scheduling

In previous years, the number of divisional games for each team was set at 76, but it will now decrease to 52, putting that much more of an emphasis on those matchups. The split between those divisional games will be divided evenly on the road and at home.

The Angels will have a geographic rival set for 2023 with the L.A. Dodgers, their usual opponent for the Freeway Series, which has taken place in years past. Nevin and his club will also face their usual AL West opponents and the remainder of the AL.

But now, they are going to see every club, every year. “Yeah, I think it will be fun,” Nevin said.

“I think it’s great for the fans of the game. The National League cities are going to get to see Mike and Shohei and the rest of the guys for every other year in their city.”

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