With the World Series ending on Saturday, the MLB offseason is officially underway as teams begin re-shaping their rosters and ooaching staffs for the 2023 season.
The Los Angeles Angels made an important move on Monday by announcing a new hitting coach for the 2023 campaign.
Los Angeles Angels News
The Angels have hired Marcus Thames to be their new hitting coach. Thames, 45, enjoyed a 10-year MLB career as a player from 2002-2011 before moving on to coaching. He spent the bulk of his playing days with the Detroit Tigers, where twice clubbed at least 25 home runs en route to setting the franchise record for home run frequency (14.8 AB/HR ratio).
Thames will be reunited with Angels manager Phil Nevin after both spent four seasons together on the New York Yankees coaching staff from 2018-2021. The Yankees consistently had one of the best offenses in baseball under Thames, making him a great hire for Los Angeles.
The former slugger will try to work his magic with the Angels, who fielded one of the worst offenses in MLB last year. Los Angeles ranked 13th in runs, 13th in OBP, 12th in batting average and 11th in OPS among 15 American League teams while posting the highest strikeout rate (25.7%) in baseball.
While the Angels already have several superstar talents in their lineup such as Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani (assuming Ohtani isn't traded), Thames will need to focus on helping the rest of the roster make more consistent contact, work more walks and limit strikeouts where possible. If he's able to succeed, that will go a long way toward helping Los Angeles achieve its first winning season since 2015.