Angels’ new general manager Billy Eppler was not quite done when he informed long time Halos pitching coach Mike Butcher that Butcher and the club would be parting ways. Eppler had similar news for relatively new hitting coach Don Baylor, who just completed his second year with the team. In 2014 the Angels’ not only made the playoffs under Baylor’s tutelage but had one of the most dynamic offenses in baseball and finished with the best record in the big leagues. 2015 however, did not see the same results. Despite having two players hit 40 home runs for the first time in club history, the team fell short of the playoffs on game 162. Much of this was in part to a terrible August where the Angels went just 10-19, only to turn it around in September to have the best record in baseball that month at 18-9. Don’t even try to make sense of it.
Baylor, was asked to stay on as an advisor but Butcher was not.
The big question remains, where do the Angels go from here to find Baylor’s replacement? Do they look from within the organization or from without? Eppler says yes. In not so man words, Eppler told Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com they are going to search high and low to find a new hitting coach. Who do they have in mind? That we don’t know yet. However, since we don’t know we get to make our own assumptions as to who it might be.
Every Angel fan from the late 90’s and early 2000’s loves themselves some Darin Erstad. Ersty, as he was affectionately known, was drafted by the Angels and gave it everything he had on the field 100% of the time. In 2000 he had by far his best season when he had over 200 hits and won the silver slugger award. Currently, Erstad serves as his Alma maters head baseball coach at the University of Nebraska. It does seem unlikely that he would leave his current position but you never know.
Some other former Angels’ that could be potential candidates include, Jim Edmonds, Devon White, David Eckstein, Mr. Angel himself, Tim Salmon, or maybe even arguably the best hitting Angel ever, Garrett Anderson. However, Anderson may be too busy attending kinesiology classes at Irvine Valley College.
Former Dodgers and Mets catcher Mike Piazza would be an interesting choice for the Los Angeles Angels as a hitting coach. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Scioscia, does love to give jobs to former teammates, or players who have played under him. So maybe we could see one of Scioscia’s former Dodger teammates as the new hitting coach. If we were to see a former Dodger, my vote would be for it to be Mike Piazza. The best hitting catcher of all time with a career .308 batting average, 427homeruns, over 1300 RBI and he is a ten time silver slugger award winner. Clearly the numbers are there but what about the experience? Piazza currently serves as team Italy’s hitting coach. He wasn’t much of a defender but no denying the guy could hit. Not to mention he was my favorite player growing up.
Internally, does not seem to provide much for the Halos’. Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake City, Bee’s hitting coach, Johnny Narron just finished his first season with Angels organization but came from the Milwaukee Brewers. Narron spent three seasons as the Brew-Crew’s hitting coach. In 2012 the Brewers led the National League in both run and home runs under Narron.
With no real candidates known about yet, these names are all just purely speculation but are fun to talk about. Please feel free to leave any comments down below about who you feel would be a good addition to the Angels coaching staff.