Michael Wuertz joins Angels as High-A pitching coach
It’s a York Revolution reunion on the coaching staff of the Inland Empire 66ers, the High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in San Bernadino, California.
While former Revs first baseman Chad Tracy (’13-’14) was being promoted from the Halos Low-A manager to High-A skipper, his former Revolution teammate Michael Wuertz (’13-14), was being hired by the organization as a minor league pitching coach. The two will both be with Inland Empire for the 2016 season.
Tracy, who after nine pro seasons and one managing is only 30, will have eight seasons of MLB playing experience on his staff with Wuertz, who is 37. Wuertz spent the final two seasons of his career with York, appearing in 71 games. Prior to an injury-shortened 2014, Wuertz seemed primed for a possible Major League comeback after missing all of 2012; in 2013 he was one of the top middle relievers in the Atlantic League. In 53 games and 50.1 innings, he posted a 2.86 ERA and struck out 62 batters, and tossed in six saves for good measure.
After making his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2004, Wuertz spent the majority of the next eight seasons in the Majors with the rare Triple-A junket mixed in. In 426 big league games, he posted a 3.72 ERA in 414 Major League innings, striking out better than a batter an inning with a career total of 444 punchouts. That work was with the Cubs from 2004-08 and then the Athletics from 2009-11. Drafted by the Cubs in 1997, Wuertz spent the first five years of his career in Chicago’s system as a starter all the way up to Triple-A, before developing into one of the more dependable middle-relievers in the Majors. He also has 11 MLB saves to his credit. Although a first-time coach, Wuertz’s 16-year playing career and his background coming up as a young starter coupled with his time as a veteran reliever should be a huge asset to the Angels in the lower levels as they develop pitching.