Emotional game for Angels manager Phil Nevin; Mike Trout taken out with injury

Angels manager Phil Nevin watches batting practice.
Angels manager Phil Nevin watches batting practice before a game.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Phil Nevin was 28 years old when he came to play for the San Diego Padres and general manager Kevin Towers in 1999.

Nevin played several positions for the Padres at their old ballpark, Qualcomm Stadium, until 2003 and at Petco Park until 2005. In 2001, he earned his first All-Star Game selection.

“A lot of great memories for me,” the Angels’ manager said before his team’s series-opening 10-3 loss to his former club Monday night at Petco Park. “I made sure I drove down [Interstate]15 and cut across [Interstate]8 so I could see the old stadium. ... A lot of memories driving down here today.”


Nevin’s home is in San Diego, which makes the Angels’ three-game series with the Padres a personal homecoming.

He also made return visits to Petco Park as a third base coach for the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees.

The Angels beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on a day they had to place Brandon Drury on the injured list because of a shoulder bruise.

July 2, 2023

But Nevin’s relationship with Towers, who died of cancer in 2018, and Towers’ influence on Nevin’s post-playing career is part of the reason why coming back to San Diego holds extra significance. Monday’s game was the first time Nevin returned as a big league manager.

Nevin was the Angels’ third base coach last season before he was promoted to interim manager after Joe Maddon’s firing in June. In October, the Angels made Nevin the permanent manager on a one-year contract.

The Angels fell to 45-42 with Monday’s loss but are in the hunt for an American League wild-card spot.

“He’s just somebody that I really admired as a friend, for one, but a lot of baseball advice,” Nevin said of Towers. “I got three big people in my life that didn’t get to see the day I took over. ... KT would be at the top of that list.


“I’m sure I’ll look up at the box [in the stadium], like where I used to say, ‘Hey.’”

Reid Detmers may only have a 2-5 record but there’s no Angels pitcher who is performing better these days. On Sunday, he helped them end a four-game slide.

July 2, 2023

Nevin’s relationship with Towers during Nevin’s playing days has been described by some as volatile. But Nevin said he viewed it as brother-like, with their friendship growing after Nevin was traded during the 2005 season.

Towers’ Padres tenure ended in 2009, and he later became the Arizona Diamondbacks’ general manager.

Towers hired Nevin to manage the Diamondbacks’ triple-A affiliate, the Reno Aces, in 2014.

He also pushed for Nevin to become the Diamondbacks’ manager for the 2017 season — a job that went to present manager Torey Lovullo.

Nevin still vividly remembers the day Towers told him he was sick.

“I just remember him telling me: ‘I got dealt a tough hand. I gotta get a few cards off the bottom of the deck,’” Nevin recalled. “He fought and fought till the end.”

Nevin still thinks of Towers often.

“There’s a lot of decisions in life, whether baseball or not, I think about him,” he said. “[Former Padres manager Bruce Bochy] too. But I can pick up the phone and call Boch still. I said that last year when I took over, I wish I would’ve had the chance to talk to him.

“I know that [KT] would have been proud.”

Trout comes out with wrist injury

Angels' Mike Trout walks next to manager Phil Nevin as he leaves the game.
Angels’ Mike Trout (27) walks next to manager Phil Nevin as he leaves the game during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres on Monday in San Diego.
(Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

As if the Angels didn’t already have enough injury concerns, one of their most valuable sluggers was pulled from the eighth inning of the Angels’ loss to the Padres due to pain in his left wrist.

After Mike Trout fouled off a pitch in the eighth, he made a face and shook his left hand before holding it behind his back and walking out of the batter’s box.

Angels athletic trainer Mike Frostad and Nevin came out to check on Trout, who left with the trainer. Mickey Moniak replaced him in the game.

“I just took a swing,” Trout said after the game. “Something felt uncomfortable. Waiting on getting some scans and hope for the best. I’m just praying for these results to come back clean. Doesn’t feel great. Hopefully just a sprained wrist.

“I can’t really describe the pain. I’ve never felt it before this. I’ve never had wrist problems or anything. Freak thing, I guess. I don’t know.”

The Angels beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on a day they had to place Brandon Drury on the injured list because of a shoulder bruise.

July 2, 2023

Trout’s wrist was still bothering him after the game while he was addressing members of the media. He is slated to have an X-ray among other tests.


The Angels lost the first game of their three-game series with the Padres 10-3, unable to move runners out of scoring position. The Angels went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 14 runners on base.

“We let a lot left on, we just didn’t get a big hit when we needed it,” Nevin said. “Game should have been a lot different.”

Padres starter Blake Snell also kept the Angels scoreless through five innings, with the Angels bats finally able to break through once reliever Domingo Tapia took the mound.

The Angels scored twice in the top of the sixth inning, with RBI from Taylor Ward and Trout, and then again in the top of the seventh on Luis Rengifo’s solo home run.

Angels starter Jaime Barría gave up four earned runs on five hits and struck out five batters during five innings. The majority of the damage came on a single pitch that resulted in a three-run home run hit by Xander Bogaerts. But the game was still within reach after Barría came off the mound.

The Padres, however, continued to beat up on the Angels. Relievers Victor Mederos, Tucker Davidson and Sam Bachman all were charged with two earned runs apiece.


Nevin says the Angels will have to adapt if the troubling wrist injury keeps Trout out of the lineup.

“We’ve talked all along about our depth and it’s been tested,” Nevin said. “We’ve lost some big pieces to this, just talked about having the next guy up. Same thing in this case. We give somebody another opportunity to get more looks, more at-bats depending on how Mike’s tests go. We’ll see how it goes.”