The Los Angeles Angels have officially hired Rick Eckstein to serve in a new catch-all coaching position for the 2014 season, naming him the major league player information coach, the team has announced.
Word that Eckstein would join the Angels staff has been swirling around for a couple weeks, but it wasn't until now that anyone knew what he'd be doing for the club.
Eckstein, the older brother of beloved Angels/Cardinals shortstop David, will work for the Halos as a sort of jack-of-all-trades. He'll help coaches with defensive alignments and hitting preparations before the game, then move up to the box seats to serve as "an eye in the sky" as the action takes place, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. (To opposing players: be vigilant, the big brother is watching you.)
The 40-year-old spent nearly five seasons as the Washington Nationals hitting coach before he was let go in late July, and has 17 years of coaching experience in professional baseball overall.
His addition to the Angels staff nearly completes the coaching overhaul that the club has employed this offseason. Along with Eckstein, the team has added Don Baylor (hitting coach) and Gary DiSarcina (third-base coach) to the staff, and is still planning to add an assistant hitting coach.