The Los Angeles Angels announced three new additions to their Major League coaching staff on Monday. Marcus Thames has been named the new hitting coach, Phil Plantier will be his assistant hitting coach, and Bill Hezel is the new assistant pitching coach.
Thames spent the 2022 season with the Miami Marlins after a longer stint on the hitting staff of the New York Yankees. Plantier has been with the minor league staffs of the Seattle Mariners, Yankees, and Marlins, and had a three-year stint as the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres.
This is Hezel’s first MLB opportunity after spending time as the Director of Pitching at Driveline, a high-tech baseball training facility in Seattle. Patrick Sandoval and Shohei Ohtani both worked directly with Hezel in recent years, along with many other MLB pitchers.
In addition to these moves, the Angels announced that former assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento is staying with the team, but will be moved to a different role. 2022 bullpen coach Dom Chiti and third base coach Mike Gallego are also staying with the Angels in new roles.
The third base coach is now the final open spot on the Angels coaching staff. Once they announce a replacement for Gallego, they will have completed their 2023 coaching staff behind manager Phil Nevin. Nevin signed a one-year contract to remain the Angels manager towards the end of the 2022 season.
Chad Wallach elects free agency
The first piece of roster movement for the Angels also took place recently, as catcher Chad Wallach was outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake, but elected free agency. The move was to be expected, as the catcher position has more depth than any other position in the Angels organization.
Max Stassi figures to be the big league starter on Opening Day, but Matt Thaiss and Logan O’Hoppe are potential back-up and starter options as well.