It is a tale as old as time in baseball in which the manager can be a scapegoat for a struggling team. Luckily for Los Angeles Angels manager, Phil Nevin, the record has not gotten out of hand, but the pitching within the rotation and bullpen has been a fun topic for fans and reporters to determine what to do.
Phil Nevin is in charge
Angels beat writer for The Athletic, Sam Blum, wrote an article answering fan mail that he received and answered a question I posed about pitching decisions. It reads "You're correct in saying that Nevin has asserted on the record that he makes bullpen decisions. My understanding from talking to people in the organization is that he's telling the truth."
The LA Angels team ERA as a whole is in the top 11 with a 3.80 and has generated a total of 254 strikeouts. However, separating the rotation from the bullpen, the rotation stands at an ERA of 4.56 with of course the unicorn that is Shohei Ohtani with a remarkable 2.54 ERA. The bullpen has a combined 3.03 ERA and that is with struggling relievers like Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera.
While the bullpen has effective pitchers, the Angels lead the league in blown saves with 7 which mostly falls to Nevin because he is the one sending out the relievers to lock the game down. So far it has been a combination of Carlos Estevez and Jose Quijada, but with Quijada on the shelf, it will be mostly Estevez now.
Roster changes aren't helping
While Nevin is in charge of who he's sending out there, it doesn't come with some blame from the front office as well. The LA Angels have been bouncing Andrew Wantz back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues despite putting up a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings of work.
Injuries have also plagued the team with Quijada needing a second opinion on his elbow which has shown ligament damage according to Phil Nevin. Austin Warren is another name that is missing some time with no estimate for a return.
That being said Wantz should be expected to come back up soon and hopefully continue his impressive season. The Angels might need another lefty with Quijada missing the rest of the season.
They have one in the minors of Kolton Ingram who despite having an ERA of 5.00, has shown success in the past. With the team being aggressive with their call-ups, it wouldn't surprise me if he gets the call soon in a desperate move to get a lefty in the bullpen.