Amid a 12-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Angels made the decision to fire manager Joe Maddon and name Phil Nevin the club’s interim manager.
The losing streak went to a franchise record 14 straight losses and the Angels became the third team in history to be 10 or more games over .500 and have a losing streak of 10 or more games to fall below .500.
This took them from being a lock for a playoff spot to the outside looking in. However, the season is still early, and Angels general manager Perry Minasian is hoping Nevin’s different style will help the club rebound and make the playoffs, he said via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
“What Nev brings to the table — a different voice, a different style — will help the room, help spark us and help us win games,” Minasian said before the game. “We’re on a 12-game losing streak, but we’re 1½ games out of a playoff spot. As poorly as we played over the last two weeks, there’s an opportunity right in front of us.”
“I’ve wanted this opportunity, but this isn’t how I envisioned it,” Nevin said. “I envisioned it being a happy day addressing the players, media, the staff … but this is under different circumstances, and I don’t feel those same emotions. I am excited, absolutely, and the conversation I had with [Maddon] put me at ease. He told to take this opportunity and run with it, and be the person that I am, which I plan to do.”
Since naming Nevin the manager, the club has gone 2-4 but get a chance to rebound with a day off on Monday after a long stretch of games that was made all the more frustrating by their losses.
Nevin has a decent coaching résumé under his belt already, which began in 2008 when he took over as the manager of the Orange County Flyers in the independent Golden Baseball League. Under his leadership, the Flyers finished 37-39 and he planned to return the following year, but he was hired by the Detroit Tigers organization.
The Tigers named Nevin the manager of the Erie SeaWolves, their Double-A affiliate, and he managed them for one season. The following year, he was promoted to the Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate. He was later added to the Tigers’ coaching staff during their 2011 playoff run.
Under Nevin, the Mud Hens went 192-238, never finishing higher than third in the division, and he was fired in 2013.
Nevin moved on to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization as the manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces as he led them to an 81-63 record and Pacific Coast League Championship Series berth. He ended up interviewing for the Houston Astros’ open managerial job after the season but stayed with the Aces for two more seasons.
He was then hired by the San Francisco Giants as their third base coach after the 2016 season, and after one season he was hired by the New York Yankees as their third base coach, where he stayed through the 2021 season.
The Angels then hired Nevin as their third-base coach for the 2022 season.
Minasian remains optimistic over playoff hopes
The Angels have all the talent they need to make the postseason, and because the club faltered early in the season, they still have more than enough time to right the ship and punch their ticket to October.
Minasian said the club just has to take it one game at a time and trusts he has assembled the right group to complete the task.
If the Angels bounce back to make the playoffs, their losing streak would be the longest in MLB history for a team that advances to October. The 2017 L.A. Dodgers lost 11 games in a row and took the Astros to seven games in the World Series.
They currently sit 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot as they prepare for a two-game series with the Dodgers.
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