Angels Pitching Coach Barry Enright: Believing In Himself Is Half The Battle For Patrick Sandoval
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Sandoval is still trying to capture the magic of the 2022 season that saw him become an immediate cornerstone of the Los Angeles Angels rotation. He has struggled over the last season and a month with command issues and frequent traffic on the base paths, even with new pitching coach Barry Enright tinkering with pitch selection.

So far in 2024, the Angels’ Opening Day starter is 1-5 with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.688 WHIP. He has been slightly better in his last two starts — correlating with a decrease in fastball usage — with five earned runs with 14 strikeouts over his last 10.2 innings. However, the overall numbers are still daunting, even if a 3.17 fielding-independent pitching (FIP) suggests some bad luck.

Enright and Sandoval are working together to come up with a solution to get him back to where he was in 2022. However, the Angels pitching coach believes it’s a mindset solution before a physical one, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“He’s going to have to find the version to blend those two together to be his best version,” Enright said on Monday. “I’m very encouraged where his stuff is at. I’m encouraged where his confidence is leading. That’s more than half the battle, believing in himself. Then eventually he can obtain a better version of himself than he was in 2022. That was good, but there’s still a better version in there.”

Enright firmly believes in Sandoval’s abilities, and knows it’s only a matter of time before he gets where he wants to be.

“He’s doing a great job of working on the things that we talked about on the side and in his bullpen sessions,” Enright said. “Eventually he’s going to get it in the game. I’m confident we’ll get there.”

Sandoval has another chance on Tuesday night to right the ship against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A third consecutive solid start could be exactly what he needs to find the right path moving forward.

Angels’ Reid Detmers faltering

Things have taken a sharp downturn for Reid Detmers in his last three starts. In 17.2 innings since April 22, Detmers has allowed 16 earned runs (8.15 ERA) with an opponent OPS of .915 and a 1.528 WHIP. This culminated in a seven-run outing against the Cleveland Guardians that looked very similar to some of his early poor performances.

Detmers, when his stuff is not fully focused, can easily be snake-bitten by the home run ball. He gave up three on Saturday night in 5.2 innings of work. And the lack of consistency is leading to frustration for the young Angels starter.

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