Angels add former hitting coach Eckstein to staff
Brother of ex-Anaheim shortstop becomes seventh member of Scioscia's crew
ANAHEIM -- The Angels may have finished rounding out Mike Scioscia's coaching staff, coming to terms on an agreement with former Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein to serve as a hybrid seventh coach, an industry source confirmed Tuesday to MLB.com.
The move is not official because Eckstein still has to complete the standard background check by Major League Baseball, but could be announced as soon as Wednesday. News comes on the same day the Angels announced the hiring of former shortstop Gary DiSarcina as the new third-base coach and almost three weeks after former outfielder Don Baylor was brought on to be the hitting coach.
Eckstein -- brother of another beloved Angels shortstop, David Eckstein -- is expected to serve as a facilitator of advanced scouting and can also fill the role as assistant hitting coach, though the Angels haven't decided if they'll make a separate hire for that position.
Eckstein's task will basically be to spend pregame relaying spray charts, defensive alignments and pitcher-hitter matchups with the other coaches, then spend the in-game portion as somewhat of an advanced scout. The Rockies, Rays, Indians and Nationals are among the teams that employ coaches for similar roles.
Eckstein, 40, was dismissed as Nats hitting coach after nearly five seasons on July 22, with Washington's offense ranking 29th in the Majors in runs per game.
He joins a Scioscia-led coaching staff that includes newcomers Baylor and DiSarcina, and returnees Dino Ebel (promoted to bench coach), Mike Butcher (pitching coach), Alfredo Griffin (first-base and infield coach) and Steve Soliz (bullpen coach).
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.