Joe Maddon is hired he will look to round out staff, maybe Erstad and Butcher
This morning Joe Maddon was hired by the Angels to be the new manager, who they hope will help turn around a team that has not had a winning record the past 4 years.
Now that Joe Maddon is in the fold, the 65-year old is trying to hit the ground running. There will be at least two additions needed for Maddon’s coaching staff as the Angels parted ways with pitching coach Doug White and bench coach Josh Paul.
There have been rumors circulating that the Angels could bring back Mike Butcher who was the team’s pitching from 2007 to 2015 before being let go after the 2015 season. Butcher was let go by the Arizona Diamondbacks after serving as their pitching coach for four seasons. While Butcher and Maddon never coached together in Anaheim as Maddon left after the 2005 season to become the Tampa Bay Rays.
However, Butcher played for the Angels from 1992-1995 while Maddon was a coach and he also knows that Butcher has had some good success as a pitching coach both in Anaheim and also in Arizona.
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The other spot available on the Angels coaching staff is the bench coach position. The bench coach is many times considered to be the right-hand man for a manager and even sometimes is a manager-in -waiting as many teams look at bench coaches when hiring a manager. There is no one who has been linked to assuming the role but some potential candidates could include some former Angels such as Darin Erstad, Bengie Molina, or even Gary Disarcina. A longshot for the role could be former Angel Jack Howell.
Erstad has been a college baseball head coach for his alma mater the University of Nebraska from 2012-2019 before stepping down at the end oof the 2019 college season. Erstad led the Cornhuskers to four NCAA Regionals and one Big Ten Title. Erstad was a finalist in 2017 for the LA Dodgers open managerial position. Erstad took his name out of the running, and that position eventually went to Dave Roberts who has guided the Dodgers to two World Series appearances.
Bengie Molina was the Angels catcher from 1999 to 2004 including anchoring the 2002 pitching staff in the World Championship season. Molina has coached with both the Cardinals and the Rangers in 2013 and 2014.
Gary DiSarcina played with the Angels his whole career from 1989 to 2000 and was a fan favorite. DiSarcina Returned to the Angels as a coach from 2014-2016 before leaving for Boston where he coached for a year before joining the Mets coaching staff the ast two years. The Mets just fired their manager Mickey Callaway so DiSarcina’s status could be in limbo.
The final candidate which is a longshot is Jack Howell. Howell played for the Angels from 1985-1991 and then again from 1995-1996. Howell returned to the Angels in 2016 as the Minor League Field Coordinator, and for the ast two seasons Howell has been the manager of the Angels Single-A affiliate in Burlington, Iowa coaching the Angels top three prospects in Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Jordyn Adams. Howell and Maddon have known each other ever since Howell came up through the Angels system in the mid-1980’s.
My first choice for Angels bench coach would be Darin Erstad as his mental toughness and way of playing the game could along with Maddon infuse some life into an Angel team that desperately need. Another plus with Erstad being the bench coach is that he can learn from a very successful manager in Maddon, and if Maddon decides to step away from the game in the next five to seven years (He will be 66 years old when the 2020 season starts) Erstad could make a smooth transition into a manager role with the Angels.
With Maddon and Erstad along with Jose Molina, and Shawn Wooten already on the coaching staff the Angels could have four people who were a part of the World Championship 2002 Angels team. We will have to see how things will play out in the next few weeks.