The Los Angeles Angels checked the biggest box on their offseason to-do list with the hiring of Ron Washington to be the next manager of the club. Aside from Shohei Ohtani’s free agency, finalizing their coaching staff is a huge hurdle for the team looking ahead.
A middling future is what lies ahead for general manager Perry Minasian and the Angels, with a fork-in-the-road outlook, with free agent decisions having a lot of what they could choose to do. A roster in which has multiple rookies from last season as mainstays isn’t the best move, because a lot of those guys were forced into big league action out of necessity.
But this past week when Washington as announced, it was reported that former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter would be joining them in a lesser role than he had interviewed. But in a discussion with Mike DiGiovanna on Foul Territory, A.J. Pierzynski explained the response from Hunter on the recent report about him joining the Angels coaching staff as the club’s first base coach:
But, Mike, there’s your answer about him being the first base coach. He just laughed and said, I’ll be the manager because I can help more people out being the manager. And he’d love to do it one day, but he’s not going to be the first base coach of the Angels.
Hunter turning down the first base coaching job isn’t much of a surprise, because he originally had interest in being the Angels manager. He’s spent a solid amount of time in recent years giving back to baseball with his time, especially when he joined Spring Training in Tempe this past season.
He’s like a special assistant because what he likes is to be able to talk to kids, younger kids, and help them grow, not only in baseball, but in their life.
Hunter’s contributions to baseball have been extremely valuable, both in playing and in retirement. He’s clearly showing an interest in joining a Major League staff, but the situation has to be right.
He values both his time, family, and what he has to offer, and perhaps in the future an opportunity with the Angels could open up once again.
White Sox hire Marcus Thames away from Angels coaching staff
This week, the Chicago White Sox announced they have hired away Marcus Thames, creating another vacancy in their coaching ranks.
A huge point for Thames when joining the Angels was an approach to be both aggressive early in counts, while lowering the amount of swing and miss. To his second point, the Angels were unable to lower their strikeout rate, going from an American League leading 25.7% to 24.8% (4th in AL) this past season.
Whomever the Angels front office hires as their manager, will have the ability to pick their own hitting coach to guide this relatively young offensive group.
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