Bench coach Rob Picciolo and hitting coach Jim Eppard will not return to the Los Angeles Angels in 2014, the team announced Tuesday evening. However, both manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto will be retained, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
There have been rumblings over the last year that one or both of Scioscia and Dipoto would be let go, but the team has instead decided to keep both on board. Rumor had it that the two men did not see eye-to-eye on some of the decisions made, with one particular sticking point being the firing of long-time hitting coach Mickey Hatcher in early 2012.
Dipoto has just one guaranteed year left on his contract, though the Angels hold team options on him for both 2015 and 2016. Scioscia, the highest-paid manager in MLB, is under contract through 2018.
Both men were told they would be kept aboard earlier this week.
"From a personal level, I want this challenge. This is where I want to be, and I’m happy to have another opportunity at it," Scioscia said during a conference call.
Both Picciolo and Eppard had been with the organization for several years. Picciolo was in his eighth year with the Angels, and his third as the team's bench coach. Eppard had been with the organization for 11 seasons, and has been hitting coach since May 15, 2012.
The Angels suffered through a disappointing 2013 season that saw the team finish third in the AL West with a 78-84 record. Los Angeles had high hopes entering the year after spending big money on Josh Hamilton to pair with Albert Pujols in the middle of the order. Unfortunately, both players struggled and Pujols' season ended in late July after he suffered a partial tear of his left plantar fascia.