General manager Perry Minasian, speaking to reporters via videoconference, said Plesac would enter spring training competing for a spot on the club in the starting rotation or in the bullpen.
If Plesac — who has primarily been a starter in his MLB career — joins the rotation, he would be part of a group that includes Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, Tyler Anderson and Griffin Canning, with other starting options including Chase Silseth and José Suarez.
Plesac’s entrance to the league in 2019 certainly drew intrigue — a little-known young pitcher who shut out the Angels that September at Angel Stadium. But since that season, it has not been quite the same.
Plesac has had his share of struggles over the last few seasons, which included freak self-inflicted injuries and missing time in the big leagues for breaking COVID-19 protocols in 2020.
In 2021, for example, he broke his thumb after aggressively ripping off his shirt in the clubhouse. In 2022, he fractured his hand after punching the mound in frustration during a game.
Speaking with reporters Saturday, Plesac addressed those incidents.
“COVID is something that happened a few years ago and it’s something I put behind me,” Plesac said. “And unfortunately, the way the game [is], it’s just something I have to carry with me forever … something that I did and I took responsibility for. … I had to learn a lesson.
“I think that COVID situation kind of rolled into the thumb injury, that ended up the following season breaking my hand, kind of got grouped together. … I just let a lot of negative energy kind of pile up into a release that happened on the mound.”
Plesac acknowledged he had not handled the mental part of the game well and that he has since connected with others so that those incidents don’t happen again.
“I’m a very passionate person, especially about the game of baseball,” Plesac said. “And when you’re out and between those lines, you aren’t the same person you are when you’re outside the lines. … And from that situation, learning to have that emotional awareness.
“I’ve talked to people, psychologists and a good guy of mine who kind of helped me learn how to stabilize those emotional urges that happened…