One of the best managing gigs in baseball just opened up. Are you ready to apply? I’m guessing if you are qualified for the job, you may not be reading this post. But in all seriousness, the Angels have one of the largest payrolls in the league. They have the best player in baseball and in our generation in Mike Trout. They have the modern version of Babe Ruth in Shohei Ohtani. Say what you want about Albert Pujols, but in him they also have a legendary player. Perhaps the best defensive shortstop since Ozzie Smith is also on the team in the name of Anderlton Simmons.
Who WOULDN’T want to manage this club?
This new manager is going to bring change. Time will tell if that is good or bad change. However, we are likely to see many changes in the overall coaching staff. Alfredo Griffin has been on Scioscia’s crew for all 19 years. Dino “Windmill” Ebel has been there 14 years. Steve Soliz has been around for 15 years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see all of these guys go. Most of the rest of the staff is much shorter tenured with Scott Radnisky, Paul Sorrento, Eric Hinsker, Josh Paul, and Charles Nagy all being new additions in the Eppler era.
Billy Eppler took the helm as Angels GM before the 2016 season began, and now he gets to hand pick his team manager. Eppler certainly has a “type” in mind. He’ s been reshaping the team and farm in his image since the day he took the job. But who will this person be? Let’s take a look at some of the contenders.
Already in the Organization
Josh Paul - Paul was hired as the Angels bench coach last November. He was a former catcher who player 2 years under Mike Scioscia. Eppler also has history with him since Paul was a scout in the Yankees organization. He would seem to be one of the front runners for the job.
Eric Chavez - He played 13 years for the A’s and a few more for the Yankees and Diamondbacks. He also spent some time as a baseball analyst after his player career and in 2015 was a special assistant to Brian Cashman and Billy Eppler for the Yankees. Eppler immediately scooped up Chavez as his special assistant when he became the Angels GM. Chavez was named the Salt Lake Bees manager in early August after the Angels promoted Keith Johnson to a coaching position with the big league club. All these moves seem to point toward Eppler grooming Chavez for the job and many believe he’s a top (or the top) contender.
Brad Ausmus - Managed the Tigers from 2014-2017 so he has a track record (but losing record). He was hired by Billy Eppler to be a special assistant for the 2018 season. Read a 2017 interview with Ausmus over at FanGraphs and see if you think his mentality would fit as team manager.
Dino Ebel - Ebel has served as Angels Bench coach, a minor league coach, and has been with the organization since 2005. It’s unclear if he’s the kind of guy Eppler would want, but at least the windmill wouldn’t be on 3rd base anymore.
Gary DiSarcina - Currently serving as the bench coach for the hapless Met, DiSarcina has a history with the Angels. He’s also been considered for other managing jobs so the skill set seems to be there. But does Eppler want to bring back a Dipoto guy? Probably not.
Joe Giradi - Billy Eppler has a history with him during his tenure with the Yankees. However, he’s old school and much like Scioscia in that sense. The Yankees also moved on from him to someone who would embrace the analytics more. Sound familiar? Probably not a fit in Anaheim.
Darin Erstad - He was a finalist for the Dodgers managing job a few years back and has been head coach at the University of Nebraska since 2011. According to a 2013 article, he is almost a Scioscia clone. I’m going to guess that makes him a hard pass.
Bunch of other dudes
Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Paul Molitor and others lead a long list of other candidates - many who have major league track records. But does Eppler go that route? I don’t think so. My money is on a young manager - possibly one with little or no major league experience - and of course one that fully embraces analytics.
What type of Manager should the Angels hire?
This poll is closed
New dude with no experience that loves analytics
Someone from within the org - experience or not
A younger manager with a bit of experience