Stability is one area the Los Angeles Angels have struggled with in the past decade, whether it’s results, keeping a core of players healthy, or even in managerial roles, but the look and feel of the 2023 club are shaping to be more positive than in years past.
The Angels are in an important season and they have high hopes for 2023. Manager Phil Nevin made some additions to his staff, and the results are already showing with both the pitchers and hitters.
Spring Training wins and losses don’t mean anything, but the club still finished with the best record in the Cactus League. Now, Nevin is looking to see his team carry that momentum into the season and continue to grow, via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:
“I’m just looking forward to seeing it grow,” Nevin said of the team culture, “watch those relationships be created, and that room’s gonna be a heck of a lot of fun and winning’s obviously also fun too. So it kind of goes hand in hand, but even last year that room was a lot of fun. Through ups and downs, nothing affected them … and I’m proud of that fact and it’s not going to change.”
Nevin is now in his first full season in Major League Baseball without the interim tag he held last year after the team fired Joe Maddon, and the leaders of the Angels have voiced their respect for him:
When Nevin was named manager for the 2023 season, players endorsed him.
Outfielder Mike Trout said they trusted Nevin. “Nev knows the game. He worked hard to get here. Means a lot to him. Means a lot to us,” he said. Catcher Max Stassi called him the “right man” for the team. Two-way star Shohei Ohtani said Nevin “gave his all” after being thrust into the manager‘s role under difficult circumstances.
Although the results of last season weren’t one of the memorable highlights, it’s the firm grip that Nevin had on the pulse of the clubhouse and how they operated. Being in a division with the defending World Series Champions is a lot to overcome, and members of the Angels roster believe they have the right skipper at the helm:
“He’s more strict,” third baseman Anthony Rendon said, comparing Nevin as a third base coach to Nevin as a manager.“ He’s holding us accountable, and I think that’s awesome.”
The new-look Angels feature a young, feisty, starting rotation and an offense riddled with experienced veterans headed by Trout, Rendon and Shohei Ohtani. Their path isn’t exactly a cakewalk, but perhaps culture can tie them all together.
Phil Nevin was ‘really proud’ of Jo Adell for offseason work
The Angels handing out contracts and acquiring MLB veterans who figure to heavily contribute to the roster had an adverse effect on Jo Adell and his importance to the roster, but the 23-year-old put in a strong offseason.
The one-time top prospect has underwhelmed since debuting with the Angels during the 2020 season, posting wRC+ numbers of 26, 89, and 77 the past three years, with a 37.5% strikeout rate in 2022. With newly acquired outfielder, Hunter Renfroe now a part of the mix that includes Trout and Taylor Ward, Nevin has alternative options.
Still, Nevin took notice of the work Adell put in, and the hope is that will play off in the long run.
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