The Angels will have a new broadcast team in 2021, with Matt Vasgersian and Daron Sutton hired to call games for what will soon be branded as Bally Sports West, formerly Fox Sports West.
The duo will split play-by-play duties. The exact number of games each will call is not yet known, but Vasgersian has national assignments for MLB Network and calling ESPN Sunday Night Baseball games that will occasionally have him elsewhere.
“It’s really going to be a jigsaw puzzle with the schedule. The Angels are aware of that. My other employers are aware of that. And with Daron handling the rest of the games, and it might end up that Daron does more than I do — it’s going to be a month by month proposition.”
The duo replaces Victor Rojas, who was the Angels play-by-play broadcaster for the last 11 seasons. Rojas, who interviewed for the Angels general manager job after the season, left in January to become the president and GM of the Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
Like Vasgersian, Sutton will continue his other job in addition to calling Angels games, producing content for Perfect Game, including live game broadcasts and shows dedicated to amateur baseball and softball.
“I am available to do every game I need to with the Angels,” Sutton explained. “Wherever Matt has challenges or where he has responsibilities, I see some nice long stretches with the tentative schedule when I’ll be doing games.”
In addition to game broadcasts, Vasgersian and Sutton will both also occasionally contribute to Angels pre- and post-game shows.
The Angels will switch to a three-person broadcast booth on television this year, with Vasgersian or Sutton joined by analysts Mark Gubicza and Jose Mota, the latter getting a promotion in his 20th season involved in Angels broadcasts.
“When a baseball telecast gets too much, ‘Ball one, ground ball to second, he’s a 6’10 left-hander from West Virginia’-type stuff, reading out of the media guide, that’s not what we’re trying to do anymore,” Vasgersian said. “Three guys sometimes help facilitate better conversation, especially with those two guys. I mean, they come from different backgrounds, and they have a lot of time with this brand, so I’ll tap into them a lot.”
Sutton said he might call a pair of spring training games with Gubicza, remotely as all Angels road games will be, at least to start the season. Vasgersian said his first Angels game would be in the regular season. Given that ESPN’s original schedule has Vasgersian calling Mets-Nationals on April 1, that would mean Sutton would call opening day for the Angels.
“We haven’t locked down our schedules yet, but if I get that opportunity, the obvious answer is right there — I’d be thrilled to get the chance,” Sutton said. “It’d be an honor to call a game like that. As many opening days as my father pitched, it would be an honor to help this team on the media side call an opening day.”
Sutton’s father, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, who passed away on June 19, started seven times on opening day in his career, and pitched three years (1985-87) for the Angels. Daron Sutton called Angels games on radio in 2000-01. He joked that he won the “perfect timing award” by leaving for a promotion, calling television games for the Brewers beginning in 2002, watching from afar as the Angels won the World Series that year.
Sutton, who also pitched briefly for Low-A Boise in the Angels system in 1992, grew up an Angels fan.
“When 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,” Sutton said. “To have this opportunity, I’m just humbled. I’m really blown away by the chance.”