Vasgersian to lead Angels' 3-man booth

March 12th, 2021

The Angels and FOX Sports West announced their television broadcast crew for the 2021 season with Matt Vasgersian being hired as the club's new play-by-play announcer. Daron Sutton was also hired as Vasgersian’s backup play-by-play announcer, while José Mota was promoted as the second analyst, joining Mark Gubicza to create a three-man booth.

Vasgersian, 53, replaces Victor Rojas, who left to become the president and general manager of the Minor League Frisco RoughRiders in Texas. Vasgersian will keep his current roles with MLB Network and ESPN, including serving as the play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. So Vasgersian said he plans to mostly work remotely while calling Angels games and Sutton will fill in for him as necessary. 

“I kind of missed getting my skin in the game with a team,” Vasgersian said via Zoom on Thursday. “There's a fine line between a national presentation of a product, when you're doing a game for a fan base that knows more about their teams than you do, and doing a game as a team broadcaster where you are much more intimately informed as to what happened last night, and the night before and the personalities behind the game. I kind of missed that and kind of missed being involved with a team and rooting a little bit. The hope is that you appeal to the fan base as a friendly voice."

Vasgersian, a Bay Area native, attended USC and has worked in a variety of roles as a broadcaster, including play-by-play for the Brewers and Padres. He's also worked in national roles for MLB Network, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, FOX Sports' NFL and MLB coverage, NBC Sports' coverage of the Olympics and even NBC Sports' coverage of the original XFL. 

He joins Gubicza, who is entering his 15th season as an analyst for the Angels, and Mota, who was promoted from his role as a studio host to create a three-man booth. It marks a change for the Angels, who previously used just one play-by-play announcer and one analyst. 

"I like a three-man booth because I like to keep the conversation going around," Vasgersian said. "When a baseball telecast gets into too much ball one, ground ball to second or just reading the media guide, that's not what we're trying to do anymore. So, three guys sometimes helps facilitate better conversation, especially with those two guys and they come from different backgrounds and they have a lot of time with this brand, so I'll tap into them a lot."

It's a homecoming for Sutton, who previously served as the club's radio play-by-play announcer from 2000-01. Sutton, 51, also has extensive play-by-play experience, including with the D-backs, Brewers and Arizona State men's basketball. He's also served as a pregame and postgame host for the Braves, but spent most of the last decade working around amateur baseball, including with Perfect Game. He's the son of Hall of Famer and former Angels right-hander Don Sutton, and grew up a fan of the team.

"I never thought I'd get a chance to come home to work for my favorite team," Sutton said via Zoom on Thursday. "I fell in love with baseball when I was a formidable age. My father was an Angel and I've been an Angels fan ever since. I'm one of those guys where I’ll call my buddies that live in the OC and we'll talk about the good and the bad and everything in between. So, to have this opportunity, I'm just humbled. I'm really blown away by the chance.”