The Los Angeles Angels came into the 2022 season with a new look to their coaching staff following a disappointing season. When the club announced Phil Nevin, Benji Gil, and Bill Hasselman to their staff, they all shared one common thing, they have previous experience coaching in a big-league organization.
These moves were seen as incredible additions and would provide manager Joe Maddon with the proper coaches around him to further the development and preparation of the Angels players. But the team made one hire that was a bit perplexing, the addition of Ray Montgomery as the bench coach.
Montgomery spent the last few years in the Angels’ front office as the director of player personnel for the 2021 season, but has never managed or coached at any level. The relationship between the team on the field and the execs in the front office has grown stronger as information is key in this age of baseball. They must work hand in hand.
Even so, Montgomery believes his eye for the game from where he has been seeing it for years can provide valuable perspective while in the dugout, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“It’s just recharging the batteries in a different way,” Montgomery said. “When you’re watching the games up there you have less control over what happens, but you have the same interest. And you have the same concerns. You have the same hopes and questions as the game moves along. So down here, you just have a little better feel for what’s going on.”
After letting go of third-base coach Brian Butterfield, first-base coach Bruce Hines, and catching coach Jose Molina this past offseason, Maddon has been given an opportunity to re-establish a new culture in the clubhouse.
Maddon said Montgomery has the ability to give insight into players that he doesn’t have:
“If there’s a player that I don’t know, a young guy, he knows where he’s from, what round he was drafted in, who his parents are,” Maddon said. “It’s amazing.”
The 52-year-old might not have coaching experience, but he has plenty of experience in scouting and various front-office roles. That includes stints as scouting director with the Brewers and Diamondbacks.
The Angels will hope they can leverage that knowledge into a playoff birth led by Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and an upgrade rotation.
Maddon explains bases loaded walk to Corey Seager
In Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers with the bases loaded and Corey Seager coming up to hit, Maddon signaled for the intentional walk with one out in the fourth inning.
The move guaranteed the Rangers a run and the walk was followed up by a sacrifice fly before Angels reliever Austin Warren balked in another run to extend the Rangers’ lead to three runs.
Maddon defended the decision saying there was more than one factor that went into his perplexing move to give Seager the Barry Bonds treatment.
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