The LA Angels went through a lot of changes after 2018 in regards to their coaching staff. Well this season they had three spots to fill. Joe Maddon filled the biggest spot as he was named the Angels manager last week.
The next two moves the LA Angels needed to make were to fill the bench coach role and the also get a new pitching coach. One out of two isn’t bad. As the Angels chose former Mets manager Mickey Callaway to assume the role as the Angels pitching coach. Joe Maddon decided that Callaway was the best choice to fill the role for the Angels. They first met when Callaway was a pitcher on the Angels 2002 World Championship team going 2-1 with a 419 ERA in six starts, but he was left off the post-season roster.
Callaway played in Japan for a few years and knows some Japanese which bodes well for working with Shohei Ohtani. In 2013 Callaway became the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians for five years until 2017 as the Indians sported one of the best staffs in the American League. From 2013 to 2017 the Indians pitching staff posted a AL best ERA of 3.65 during that stretch with only the LA Dodgers staff posting a better team ERA during that span.
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Then in 2018 he was named to be the New York Mets manager a position he held for two seasons until being relieved of his duties earlier this month. Callaway has been considered a coach/manager who knows how to work with pitchers and develop young talent like he did in both Cleveland and New York.
Callaway replaces Doug White who was only the Angels pitching coach for one season after replacing Charles Nagy who held the position for three years.
Now the Angels only need to hire one more coach, a bench coach. Bench coaches are usually considered a manager’s right-hand man and sometimes can be a manager-in-waiting. So far there hasn’t been too much talk as to who Maddon might like to have to fill this void. Many fans have clamored for a former Angel such as Darin Erstad, or Garret Anderson. Another good choice would be to promote Jack Howell from his Single-A manager position to bench coach.
Maddon knows Howell very well since he played with the Angels on two separate occasions while Maddon was a coach for the Angels. He also brings a wealth of experience including his knowledge of the Japanese culture as he played four seasons in Japan just like Callaway did. Plus he has managed many of the Angels young talent including Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Jordyn Adams. This could be a very good fit. Plus Howell and Maddon sport a similar hair cut these days.
Whoever Maddon decides to bring on will be an important part of building the culture that the new skipper wants to create in Anaheim, which may actually be a blast from the past as Maddon is known for having many Scioscia-like tendencies. We will find out soon enough so stay tuned.