Billy Eppler says Angels are just beginning search for new manager

first_imgA day after the Angels fired Brad Ausmus one season into his tenure as manger, Billy Eppler said the club is just beginning to assemble a list of names as his successor.Although there was an assumption throughout the industry that the Angels moved on from Ausmus in order to clear the way for Joe Maddon, Eppler denied there was a connection.The Angels general manager said Tuesday the availability of other candidates “did not” impact their decision to fire Ausmus. He said letting Ausmus go had been something they had been deliberating “for a little while.”The Angels also fired pitching coach Doug White and bench coach Josh Paul on Tuesday, with the decisions on the rest of the coaches pending the hiring of a new manager. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone “Doug brought a tremendous energy, passion and creativity to the job,” Eppler said, “but ultimately when we sat down at the end of the year to take an inventory of our personnel, the decision was made that we would go in a different direction.”Certainly, whoever takes over in the manager or pitching coach roles next season will have a much easier job if the Angels add some frontline pitching.While the roster building will begin in November, after they have a manager, Eppler did once again insist that he’ll be in the market for arms.“I anticipate us adding pitching,” he said. “I couldn’t forecast a number, but as with anything, we’ll be open-minded. I think the only position we can’t get better at is center field.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The search is not expected to be completed in the brisk, fait-accompli manner that some might have expected. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Angels still had not made any contact with Maddon, according to a source.Maddon, the World Series-winning manager of the Chicago Cubs and a longtime coach and interim manager with the Angels, will not have his contract renewed in Chicago. Any team would need the Cubs’ permission to speak with Maddon until his contract expires at the end of the month, although that’s mostly a formality.Eppler said he, owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino would “collect names this afternoon” as they begin to assemble their pool of candidates.Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who worked with Eppler in New York, is a potential candidate. Veteran manager Buck Showalter also could be included.Asked specifically if there would be a preference for an experienced manager, Eppler said: “It’s a little too early for me to say until I get with John and Arte and discuss the candidate list.” Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros center_img Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Last year the Angels interviewed 10 candidates before settling on Ausmus, who had been a special assistant to Eppler before being promoted to manager. Ausmus was the only one of the eight confirmed interviewees who had managed before. He had spent four years at the helm of the Detroit Tigers.Two of the other candidates, Rocco Baldelli and Brandon Hyde, ended up with other managerial jobs, in Minnesota and Baltimore, respectively. Baldelli led the Twins to a division title.The candidates each went through eight- to nine-hour interviews, including a written test.Eppler wouldn’t say exactly how the process might be different this time, but he added that “like we do with everything, we will evaluate how we do things.”Eppler also was vague when describing what qualities they might be looking for that Ausmus lacked.“Our results this year fell short of expectations and we collectively felt it was in the best interest of the organization to go a different direction,” Eppler said, adding that they wanted “a new voice.”Moreno is believed to have been frustrated enough with the team’s fourth consecutive losing season that he pushed for the managerial change.The Angels were 72-90, their most losses since the 1999 season. The team dealt with the tragic midseason loss of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, and significant injuries to key players throughout the roster.The Angels also got almost nothing from the three free agent pitchers they signed to one-year deals last winter: Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Cody Allen. Harvey and Allen were released and Cahill finished the season in a mop-up role in the bullpen.“I want to make it clear Brad is not solely responsible for the result of our season,” Eppler said. “The majority of our short-term acquisitions that we made this past offseason did not produce to their forecast. And those failures lie with me. It has been a frustrating year for our organization, but I know it’s been a frustrating year for our fans and I feel that responsibility.”The Angels also moved on from two of their coaches, including firing White after his only season as a big league pitching coach.Forced to rely on young pitchers for most of the season, the Angels had a 5.12 ERA. White admitted to communication issues at times early in the season as he tried to get pitchers to adapt to new terminology and technology.Related Articles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter last_img