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OC Register: Angels’ Reid Detmers confident he will fulfill his potential

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Reid Detmers’ spring training debut on Friday was not unlike his 2023 season with some misplaced pitches to go along with a bit of bad luck before ending on a flourish.

The left-hander faced the San Diego Padres on Friday and struggled with his command, allowing four walks. He gave up two hits, one on a bunt he fielded then had nowhere to throw since first baseman Brian Dozier also was pursuing the ball.

He was nearly out of a jam in the second with two runners aboard before allowing an RBI double to deep center field by Tim Locastro.

The end of his 1⅔-inning outing was something to build on, though, when he struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. on three pitches, all of them called strikes.

“It wasn’t the best outing obviously; it was definitely a command issue,” Detmers said. “But first-game jitters. Just kind of wipe it out of your head and move on the next. I’m not too worried about it.”

Detmers had a rocky ride last season with a 4-10 record over 28 starts and a 4.48 ERA. But he fashioned a 1.82 ERA over his last four outings of the season, all in September.

He went into the offseason after a strong seven-inning outing against the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers on Sept. 26 by giving up one run and four hits over seven innings. It left him with his first win in six starts, with two second-half wins against the Rangers.

When Detmers is in stride, he has shown he has the potential to be a top pitcher. The 24-year-old is confident he is on his way to reaching that potential.

“I feel like I’m the same person, that same guy,” Detmers said. “I mean, it’s one start. One start at the very beginning of spring training. … I just kind of had a lot of adrenaline and was ready to get after it there. I’ll come back next week fine.”

Even as a coach with the Atlanta Braves, new Angels manager Ron Washington said he is plenty familiar with Detmers’ potential. He expects big things from his lefty.

“I’ve always been impressed with him, even last year when he wasn’t doing well,” Washington said. “You can look at him and see he has potential. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you work. If it’s meant that you are going to have a bad year, you’re going to have a bad year.

“… You have to find out why it didn’t happen because something made it not happen and then don’t let that set in again. And I think that’s where he is.”


Add right-hander Jose Soriano to the list of potential Angels starters this season.

Already listed as the starter for Saturday’s home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the honor is not necessarily a stop-gap measure for the reliever, nor is it merely a chance to see how he can handle an “opener” role.

Washington said Soriano will get the chance to go three innings against the National League champions. If he can show he’s comfortable in the role, his innings will continue to be extended.

“Because of the stuff he has and how strong he is, he’s going to get a chance to start and see where it goes,” Washington said Friday.

The 24-year-old Soriano made his major league debut with the Angels on June 3 and went 1-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 38 relief outings. He had 56 strikeouts over 42 innings.

In the Angels’ organization since 2016, when he was 17, Soriano has been used as a starter throughout most of his time as a minor leaguer. He made 65 starts as a member of the Angels’ organization and two starts in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system in 2021. He has worked through two Tommy John surgeries during that time, missing the entire 2020 season.

“We know he can throw out of the bullpen; that’s a given,” Washington said. “So right now, we’re going to assess one thing at a time.”


Catcher Logan O’Hoppe entered Friday’s start behind the plate with just one hit in eight at-bats while striking out a team-high five times. Before the game, Washington felt it was a matter of time before the results began to match the effort.

“I just expect him to get his reps (and) get through spring training healthy,” Washington said. “The more at-bats he gets, that will take care of itself. We’re going to get him what he needs by the time Opening Day comes. I don’t want him putting pressure on himself with at-bats right now.”

O’Hoppe then went 1 for 3 in Friday’s game, hitting his first home run of the spring to lead off the sixth inning.

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