Phil Nevin's explanations on latest Angels Opening Day roster decisions are on point
Yesterday the Los Angeles Angels made their next round of roster cuts. These cuts included players fans wanted to see on the Opening Day roster like Ben Joyce and Mickey Moniak.
It's always tough to leave young players who performed well off of the roster, and those guys in particular played very well. Moniak was the best hitter on the team, and Joyce probably had the best stuff of anyone not named Shohei Ohtani.
Despite the potential these players have, the Angels made the right decision by sending them down. Nevin's reasons highlighted in Jeff Fletcher's latest article make a lot of sense
Phil Nevin's reasoning for Angels Opening Day roster decisions are on point
What Nevin said about Mickey Moniak and the reason he was sent down was because he would not play enough. The same can be said about Jo Adell, but he didn't really have much of a shot with his performance.
The Angels have a set outfield with Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, and Hunter Renfroe left to right. They will be in the lineup every single day barring injury. On days off, the Angels have players like Luis Rengifo, Brandon Drury, and Jared Walsh that they feel comfortable using in corner spots. Taylor Ward is a guy Nevin says can play center field. With all of those players being better than Moniak, that left very little opportunity for him to play.
"Jo and Mickey had great springs. They did everything we asked them to do. They've grown a lot. At the end of the day, they need to play."- Phil Nevin via Jeff Fletcher OC Register
Brett Phillips is going to make the team, but will be used for defense and baserunning. He's not going to start often, if at all. He will have a very defined role. As much as Angels fans don't want to hear it, he will be an important piece late in a close game on the bases and in the outfield.
If the Angels were to deal with an injury in the outfield (which is likely considering Trout and Ward's injury history) Moniak will be up and will get his shot. Playing every day in AAA is what's best for him and the Angels for 2023 and beyond. Remember, he's 24 years old.
On to ben Joyce. The young right-hander looked untouchable at the beginning of spring even hitting 104 mph with his fastball. You can see why the Angels picked him and why they're so high on him. I wish he made this team, but I can't argue with Nevin's logic as to why he didn't.
"He's getting there. At the end of the day, he's got to throw more innings. Stuff-wise he's there, but there're other things involved."- Phil Nevin via Jeff Fletcher OC Register
Nobody is denying the stuff Joyce has, but he did walksux batters in 6.2 innings pitched this spring. He had trouble locating particularly with his secondary stuff. MLB hitters can sit on his 103 mph fastball if Joyce can't locate all of his pitches. Joyce has just 13 professional innings under his belt. There's no reason to throw him into the fire when the Angels have someone like Andrew Wantz who's proved he can get outs on this stage.
Another reason Joyce probably shouldn't be up right now is he hasn't pitched in back-to-back days. Not once. Having a one-inning reliever who will be unavailable every other day puts a lot of stress on the rest of the bullpen. Let him prove he can pitch on back-to-back days.
Lastly, Nevin says that relievers Jacob Webb and Austin Warren both impressed and will be with the team at some point. The Angels used 25 different pitchers in relief last season. The seven or eight that are with the team on Opening Day will not last the entire year, whether that's due to injury or just poor performance. Joyce, Warren, and Webb will all get their shots.
The Angels are well-equipped to navigate through a 162-game season. Players fans are clammoring for will see time in the bigs this season.