Los Angeles Angels: A manager has been named, so who is joining Joe Maddon in Anaheim?

Flashback time.

The Cubs have just won their first World Series in 108 years. Joe Maddon just managed his way to his first world championship as an MLB skipper. His players are celebrating all around him. As he’s being interviewed by ESPN, he pulls his late father’s old Angels cap out of his back pocket and places it on his own head. 

Even in his greatest moment and the greatest moment of any living Cubs fan, Joe Maddon still maintained his connection to the Angels. Now, Maddon returns full circle and gets to bring it all back to where it began for him.   

His approach involves managing with a style that Maddon refers to as the “Angels’ method” of playing baseball, a method he learned as a coach coming up the ranks among veteran managers and coaches for the Angels in the ’80s and ’90s. Finally, Angels fans will get to see Maddon manage the Angels themselves using the knowledge he gained within the system for parts of four decades. 

Now, it will be interesting to see who Maddon surrounds himself with on the 2020 Angels coaching staff. Who will be the next generation of managers, like Nationals manager Dave Martinez, to benefit from the Angels’ method in managing others to greatness in the future? 

Former Angels and Rays pitching coach Mike Butcher was released from that role with the Diamondbacks earlier this month and could find his way back to Anaheim. Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, who replaced Butcher in that role in Tampa under Maddon, could also be a candidate to be considered as Angels pitching coach. Both are experienced veteran pitching coaches who have coached under Maddon, and they both could help young Angels pitchers and veterans alike.   

Joe Molina was the Angels’ catching coach in 2019 and would also appear to be a strong candidate for a coaching role on the 2020 club. Molina played under teams coached or managed by Maddon in both Anaheim and Tampa Bay and would seem to be an obvious candidate for an increased coaching role with the Angels.   

All three hitting coaches from last season’s Angels staff (Jeremy Reed, Shawn Wooten, and Paul Sorrento) should be considered options to return as all are liked by the club’s hitters. Shawn Wooten played on the Maddon-coached Angels championship club and Paul Sorrento was a Halos farm-hand when Maddon was the minor league hitting coordinator in the early 1990s. 

Mark Loretta was Maddon’s new bench coach in Chicago last season. He’s considered a potential managerial candidate with several clubs still seeking manager this off-season.  If Loretta does not land managing gig, the Laguna Niguel native could find his way to coach on Maddon’s staff. 

Will Venable was the Cubs’ first base coach in 2019 and, like Loretta, is also being interviewed for managerial positions around baseball this offseason. Venable could also follow Maddon westward and join the Angels’ staff in a similar role to what he provided in Chicago the past two seasons. The Anaheim connection? Will’s father, Max, played for the Angels from 1989 to 1991 … when Maddon was the minor league hitting instructor.  

Ex-Halos In The Postseason

The past four World Series champion rosters have all featured ex-Angels, and this year could be another case of championship connection to the club. 

Daniel Hudson was signed by the Angels on Feb. 13. He inked a minors pact with an invite to spring training. On March 22, Hudson was released by the Angels but signed three days later with the Toronto Blue Jays who, of course, traded Hudson to the Nationals months later at the trade deadline. He has become a key component to Washington’s bullpen. On Tuesday, he stood on the mound and recorded the final, confirming the Nationals’ World Series berth. 

Hudson’s story is remarkable this postseason, and if he’s able to help lead the Washington Nationals to their first-ever World Series championship, he will join a list of Angels from recent seasons. The past five World Series champions have featured players that played earlier in the same season for the Angels. 

2018 – Ian Kinsler (Boston Red Sox) 

2017 – Cameron Maybin (Houston Astros) 

2016 – Joe Smith (Chicago Cubs) 

2015 – Drew Butera (Kansas City) 

Angels Down on the Farm 

Jo Adell and his fellow Angels teammates will be wrapping up the Arizona Fall League season this week for the Mesa Solar Sox. There have been some impressive performances by many of the Angels’ prospects, but no future Halo has been as watched as closely as the future Angels’ right fielder.   

Adell will enter the final week of the season hitting .271 with six doubles, three home runs, and nine runs batted over 20 games. He’s also walked 11 times, leading to a .361 OBP and .808 OPS for the Solar Sox.   

While the Solar Sox will have to almost go undefeated the final week and rely on Salt River to lose simply for a berth in Saturday’s championship game, Adell’s season won’t end in Mesa. He will join the USA Baseball squad in Surprise, Ariz., as he and fellow American players prepare the USA team for qualification rounds for the 2020 Olympics.  The USA team will travel to Mexico next week to compete in the opening round of the WBSC Premier 12 Olympic qualification tournament. 


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