Hitting coach Thames headlines additions to Angels’ staff

angels baseball
Cole Burston/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Marcus Thames is the Los Angeles Angels’ new hitting coach, and Phil Plantier will be his assistant next season.

Bill Hezel, the director of pitching at the Driveline Baseball development program, will be the assistant pitching coach to Matt Wise, who is returning to the Angels for the 2023 season on manager Phil Nevin’s staff.

The Angels also announced Monday that third base coach Mike Gallego, assistant pitching coach Dom Chiti and assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento will be reassigned within the organization.

Thames, who played a decade in the majors as an outfielder, was the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach last year after spending the previous four seasons in the same job with the New York Yankees. Nevin was the Yankees’ third base coach during that stretch before joining the Angels’ staff last season and being promoted to manager after Joe Maddon’s firing.

Plantier was a hitting coach in the Marlins’ system last season. The former big league outfielder was the San Diego Padres’ hitting coach from 2012-14.

Thames and Plantier will supervise a batting lineup that ranked in the bottom half of the sport in most statistical categories last season despite the presence of former AL MVPs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. The top-heavy lineup led the majors with 1,539 strikeouts and ranked 22nd in hits, 23rd in OPS, 25th in runs and 26th with a .297 on-base percentage.

Hitting coach Jeremy Reed and assistant John Mallee were dismissed after the Angels completed their seventh straight losing season and eighth straight non-playoff campaign. Both are the longest active skids in the majors.

Hezel is a former college baseball coach who later served as a consultant to the Phillies while working at Driveline, the development training complex where dozens of major leaguers – including Ohtani – work in the offseason.

Nevin is on a one-year contract as the Angels’ permanent manager. The entire organization is in transition with owner Arte Moreno actively exploring a sale of the team.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.