Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brett Phillips was designated for assignment this past week, after a slow start to his 2023 season. The move cleared space to activate Jared Walsh from the 10-day injured list.
Phillips officially passed through waivers after going unclaimed and was outrighted to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees.
The 29-year-old signed on with the Angels on a one-year, $1.2 million contract in the offseason.
Not known for his bat during his career, his .077/.250/.077 slash through 20 games and a clogged outfield forced their decision. He was used almost exclusively as a defensive substitution and pinch-runner, having only 16 plate appearances this year.
Phillips’ value remains with his glove, logging 34 outs above average in his career, including 10 OAA as recent as last season in split time with the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles. The Angels continued confidence in former first overall pick Mickey Moniak forced their hand as they needed to bank on a higher upside bat, which Moniak provides.
After clearing waivers, Phillips had the option to decline his assignment to Triple-A, but with his big league salary already in place, he accepted the designation to continue his career within the organization.
Mickey Moniak providing spark in Angels offense
Since joining the Angels in a trade from the Philadelphia Phillies last season, Moniak has done nothing but show glimpses of why he was a first overall draft choice.
Now with some extended looks within the Angels batting order, the 25-year-old has posted a .419/.438/.935 slash with four home runs, seven RBI, and seven runs scored. In his 32 plate appearances, Moniak has logged a 273 wRC+, which is one of the highest around Major League Baseball in the same stretch of play.
When slotted alongside Mikey Trout, Hunter Renfroe, and Taylor Ward, Moniak has been given a chance to make the most of his opportunities at the plate. The only alarming part of his game is a lack of walks (3.1% walk rate) and his 34.4% strikeout rate.
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