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OC Register: Angels outrighted David Fletcher to provide ‘roster flexibility’


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NEW YORK — The Angels did not make a corresponding roster move to fill David Fletcher’s spot on the 40-man roster on Tuesday, which spoke volumes about their decision to outright him.

General Manager Perry Minasian, who joined the team in New York, said the move was made simply to give them “roster flexibility. It opens up a 40-man spot.”

The fact that the Angels put Fletcher through waivers when they had no apparent pressing reason to do so demonstrated that they didn’t feel there was any risk of another team taking him.

Fletcher has just about $21 million left on his contract, through the 2025 season. The Cypress High and Loyola Marymount product would have voided the remaining money on his deal if he’d refused the outright and become a free agent.

Instead, Fletcher accepted the move. He’ll play every day at Triple-A Salt Lake, trying to earn back the status that got him that contract in the first place.

“We still believe in David Fletcher,” Minasian said. “We know him being here and not getting every day at-bats, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best thing for him. So he’ll go play and I expect him to be back and help this team sooner than later.”

The Angels let Fletcher know that they were removing him from the 40-man roster at the same time as they let him know they were sending him down over the weekend.

Manager Phil Nevin said it was a difficult conversation, but that Fletcher handled it well. On Tuesday, Nevin reiterated his faith that Fletcher will improve with regular playing time at Triple-A.

“He’s a big part of what we’ve done and I think we’re gonna do in the future,” Nevin said. “He’s been a great Angel. Just gotta get out there and play, get back to what Fletch was.

“I realize that comes with consistent at-bats, and I told him that. Part of that’s on me. He didn’t play a lot. I’m the one who makes the lineup out and decides those things. I feel like I put the best guys out there at that moment, and I feel he can easily get back in the mix, without a doubt. He just needs some time playing.”

Fletcher had started just four of the Angels’ 13 games before they made the move and was 2 for 16 at the plate. Fletcher slumped at the end of 2021 and struggled around a core muscle injury in 2022.

OHTANI’S SCHEDULE

The Angels moved up Shohei Ohtani’s next start on the mound to Friday, at home against the Kansas City Royals. Ohtani’s turn would have been on Sunday, but because the weather limited his Monday outing to 31 pitches, they decided they could bring him back sooner.

“I said whenever he’s available to pitch, we’re going to pitch him,” Nevin said.

Nevin added that changing his schedule makes it “nicer” with regard to travel days.

Nevin also moved Ohtani in the batting order, putting him in the No. 2 spot, ahead of Mike Trout. Nevin said he thinks the two superstars are “interchangeable,” but he felt like having Ohtani in the No. 2 spot would make it slightly easier for him on days when he’s pitching. He would be less likely to make the third out and then have to go to the mound.

WALSH’S STATUS

First baseman Jared Walsh, who was undergoing treatment for headaches and insomnia, has been doing baseball work in Southern California, Minasian said.

There’s still no timetable for his return, but he’s getting closer.

“It’s better,” Minasian said of Walsh’s health issues. “Is it perfect yet? No. But it’s definitely better. He’s made some strides. So we’ll continue to work with that. Now incorporate some baseball things. At some point when he’s ready, we’ll send him out to play and see what happens. Jared is a big part of this team. And we know how important he is and what he brings. We’ll be excited to have him back.”

NOTES

Gio Urshela got his first start of the season at second base. Urshela has already started at third, shortstop and first. Urshela said he worked out at second a little in spring training, and again over the weekend in Boston. …

Catcher Chad Wallach joined the team in New York, but he was just on the taxi squad. The Angels wanted to have an extra catcher in town because Logan O’Hoppe felt a tweak in his left shoulder during Monday’s game in Boston. O’Hoppe was able to finish the game and he said on Tuesday that he feels fine. …

The series at Yankee Stadium had special meaning for O’Hoppe, who grew up on Long Island and came to Yankees games regularly. When he was in high school, he caught a home run and threw the ball back onto the field. The moment was captured on television. “I remember not being able to watch the rest of the game because my phone was blowing up,” O’Hoppe said. “It was a good learning moment for today.” O’Hoppe said he had actually played at Yankee Stadium before, as a high schooler and also with the Philadelphia Phillies in an exhibition game before the COVID-shortened 2020 season. “It’s not my first time here,” O’Hoppe said. “First time with a crowd.”

UP NEXT

Angels (RHP Griffin Canning, 0-0, 3.60) at Yankees (RHP Jhony Brito, 2-1, 6.75), Wednesday, 4:05 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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41 minutes ago, Revad said:

DFA Lamb and call up either Adell or Cabbage, Adell to play LF (Ward plays 1st) or Cabbage to play 1st.

I see a lot of people pushing for Cabbage, but I think it's too soon.  His K rates in the minors have been terrible, which suggests he'd be destroyed in the big leagues.  He's off to a better start so far this year in terms of making contact, but I think we need a larger sample size before making any move on that front.

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1 hour ago, Warfarin said:

I see a lot of people pushing for Cabbage, but I think it's too soon.  His K rates in the minors have been terrible, which suggests he'd be destroyed in the big leagues.  He's off to a better start so far this year in terms of making contact, but I think we need a larger sample size before making any move on that front.

As good as I’ve been feeling about the farm, it’s sad thinking we have no one to cover 1st better than Lamb.

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5 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

The fact that the Angels put Fletcher through waivers when they had no apparent pressing reason to do so demonstrated that they didn’t feel there was any risk of another team taking him.

(Snip)

The Angels let Fletcher know that they were removing him from the 40-man roster at the same time as they let him know they were sending him down over the weekend.

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These two paragraphs should tell you guys a lot about what happened. 

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7 hours ago, Revad said:

As good as I’ve been feeling about the farm, it’s sad thinking we have no one to cover 1st better than Lamb.

I think Lamb is just a place holder.  We had Walsh, Drury, and Urshela as primary coverage options, but Walsh is out, Drury has underperformed, and Urshela has been needed elsewhere.

Flint in AA might be worth keeping an eye on.  He's being split as a RF/1B so far, it seems.  That doesn't solve the problem now, but I think we have some 1B options on the horizon, just no one imminently.

If we DFA Lamb and promote Cabbage, but Cabbage shows he isn't MLB ready, then we'd truly have no one.  I think teams err on the side of caution when it comes to having some degree of depth.

Lamb is okay.  He isn't good but he should, hopefully, be adequate enough to buy time for Walsh to get healthy/return, or someone else to emerge.  

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This move demonstrates Phil Nevin is probably not the best manager for the Angels.  No, I am not calling for him to be fired - but he needs to manage better and smarter.  Also, paying attention to Angels history might help.  David Fletcher deserved better.   So they kept the "new" utility infielder and Phil loves - and who is not as good defensively and has yet to be very good/consistant at the plate.   And LR can be flashy - also not consistant and not as good defender.   I can count 3 games that Fletcher's defense would have saved - and then more double plays because he is so fast at turning them.   I can't even remember the new guys name because he's been so unimpressive - hope he gets better....but he's no Fletcher.   Reliable, golden glove potential at 2nd, makes contact CONSISTANTLY when given the at bats.  Can't wait till he returns.   

 

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6 minutes ago, Margare46747127 said:

This move demonstrates Phil Nevin is probably not the best manager for the Angels.  No, I am not calling for him to be fired - but he needs to manage better and smarter.  Also, paying attention to Angels history might help.  David Fletcher deserved better.   So they kept the "new" utility infielder and Phil loves - and who is not as good defensively and has yet to be very good/consistant at the plate.   And LR can be flashy - also not consistant and not as good defender.   I can count 3 games that Fletcher's defense would have saved - and then more double plays because he is so fast at turning them.   I can't even remember the new guys name because he's been so unimpressive - hope he gets better....but he's no Fletcher.   Reliable, golden glove potential at 2nd, makes contact CONSISTANTLY when given the at bats.  Can't wait till he returns.   

 

Well Fletcher has been an awful hitter since 2020.  

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