The Los Angeles Angels never intended to make Phil Nevin the team's manager. Joe Maddon was fired in the middle of the 2022 season, and Nevin finished out the year as the interim manager. The team removed the interim tag and he continued on for the 2023 campaign, but the team decided they wanted a new manager following a disappointing year.
Matt Wise was in the exact same position as Nevin. He was not initially hired to be the team's pitching coach, but after Mickey Callaway's suspension he was thrust into the pitching coach role. Wise was initially supposed to be the bullpen coach.
Like Nevin, Wise remained in the role and had the interim tag removed. He actually led the Angels starters to the sixth best ERA in all of baseball in 2022 but the pitching took a major step back this past season, and now the Halos will be looking for another pitching coach as Wise has accepted a job with the White Sox.
LA Angels will search for new pitching coach with Matt Wise accepting position with the White Sox
There are many reasons this Angels team struggled in 2023. The injuries were out of control. The offense couldn't hit in the clutch. Perhaps the biggest reason the Angels failed to come close to competing for a playoff berth was because the pitching staff, particularly the rotation, regressed.
Angels starters went from being one of the best groups in the league last season to a group that had a 4.47 ERA, good for 19th in the league. This was especially concerning because the rotation really looked better on paper this season than it did last year.
Shohei Ohtani, Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval, and Jose Suarez were all returning. The Angels added Tyler Anderson in free agency coming off an all-star year and saw Griffin Canning return after missing the entire 2022 season. Every single one of these pitchers with the exception of Canning, regressed.
Ohtani went from a Cy Young candidate to a guy who was still great, but was inconsistent all year on the mound. Patrick Sandoval went from a sub-3.00 ERA guy to having an ERA over 4.00. Reid Detmers was in the mid-4.00's and was extremely inconsistent. Jose Suarez had a sub-3.00 ERA in the second half of 2022 and was unusable this past year. Tyler Anderson went from an all-star to the one of the worst pitchers in baseball.
Are all of these struggles attributed to Matt Wise alone? Of course not. However, watching everyone regress is too much of a coincidence to not point the finger in his direction, especially when he had proven very little in the role. This Angels rotation was young and seemed to be improving, now it's full of question marks.
Wise accepting a role to be the bullpen coach of a bad White Sox team speaks volumes as he couldn't land a pitching coach role elsewhere. Hopefully whoever the new manager the Angels hire has a good pitching coach in mind who can help this young group (and Tyler Anderson) show real signs of progress in 2024 and beyond.