Angels interim pitching coach Matt Wise tested positive for COVID-19 and will be away from the team until he clears protocols, manager Joe Maddon said Saturday.
Wise, 45, is serving as pitching coach while Mickey Callaway is being investigated by the Angels and Major League Baseball. Wise had previously served as the club’s bullpen coach, but took over for Callaway, who was accused of inappropriate and lewd behavior toward five women in the sports media industry and is currently suspended. The Angels will use a group effort from bullpen coach Dom Chiti and their Minor League pitching coaches and coordinators until Wise returns.
“In the meantime, all our pitching coaches will serve in that role,” Maddon said. “He feels great, but he did test positive, so he has to go through protocols.”
The good news for the Angels is the club practiced proper contact tracing and every player and coach who had contact with Wise tested negative on Saturday, Maddon said. No other Angels players or coaches have tested positive this spring.
“We had to go through all the contact testing with anyone who was near him the last few days,” Maddon said. “But everybody passed.”
• Third baseman Anthony Rendon could be a late addition to camp, as the Houston native has been affected by the winter storm that hit Texas. Angels position players report to camp on Sunday and the first official workout is set for Monday.
• Right-hander Jaime Barria arrived at camp after experiencing visa issues. But Maddon didn’t have an update on Junior Guerra or José Quijada, who are dealing with visa issues as well. Rule 5 Draft right-hander Jose Alberto Rivera was also dealing with visa issues, but he has arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic. Rivera has to go through the COVID-19 intake process before he’s cleared to join Angels camp.
• Maddon said he’s excited to see pitching prospects Reid Detmers and Chris Rodriguez this spring and believes they could both make an impact in 2021. Detmers and Rodriguez are both stretched out to start and will remain in those roles in the Minors. But Maddon wouldn’t rule out either pitcher making a debut as a reliever, if it’s a club need. Rodriguez, though, figures to be more likely to be used in relief than Detmers, who profiles more as a polished lefty starter.