Andrew Wantz

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Andrew Hunter Wantz

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Andrew Wantz made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in the middle of the 2021 season, appearing in 21 games as a reliever and going 1-0, 2.94. The Angels had selected him in the 7th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and he had been used as both a starter an reliever in the minors, including making 18 starts in 24 appearances between Class A and AA in 2019, when he finished at 5-9, 5.34. before his call-up to L.A. in 2021, he was used as a swingman with the AAA Salt Lake Bees, 5 of his 12 outings being starts.

In 2022, he went back and forth between Los Angeles and Salt Lake a number of times in the early going, although he was used strictly as a reliever in both places. On June 26th, he was announced as the surprise starter just before a game against the Seattle Mariners, in place of Andrew Suarez. The series between the two teams had been characterized by some bad blood up to that point, including a brushback pitch thrown near the head of superstar OF Mike Trout by a Mariners pitcher the night before. It soon became clear what interim manager Phil Nevin's intentions were, however, because, even though both benches had been warned by the umpiring crew before the game to cut out the extra-curricular stuff, Wantz threw a pitch that almost hit rookie OF Julio Rodríguez in the 1st inning, then with his first pitch of the 2nd hit Jesse Winker in the hit. Winker knew exactly what was going on, began exchanging words with the Angels' bench, and soon a violent bench-clearing brawl broke out, resulting in eight ejections, including Winker, Wantz, and both managers. Suarez, who had been preparing to enter the game all the while, then replaced Wantz on the mound, confirming that the reliever was only there to mete out retribution. MLB did not take take kindly to these events and the next day announced that 12 players, coaches and other personnel were being suspended. Manager Nevin received the most severe sentence, being suspended for 10 games without the possibility of appeal for ordering the pitches in spite of the warnings, Winker was suspended for 7 games for starting the brawl, and for his part Wantz was given three games for the purpose pitches.

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