Angels GM talks Ohtani, AL West, more

March 18th, 2021

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Perry Minasian has enjoyed his first Spring Training as Angels general manager and has worked to build rapport with manager Joe Maddon, the coaching staff and the players.

Maddon has raved about Minasian and the way he’s built a front office that’s all about communication and building a positive organizational culture. The two have grown close and Maddon loves that Minasian has a unique background of growing up in the game of baseball and getting his start as a clubhouse attendant, as opposed to coming from a purely analytical background.

"It's been a pleasure, this unification is strong," Maddon said via Zoom on Wednesday. "We're definitely aligned philosophically. We almost could complete each other's sentences sometimes. It's been really interesting. He gets it as far as how I see things. He's really sharp and a great evaluator. It's been fun."

Minasian spoke with reporters via Zoom for roughly 35 minutes about a variety of topics before Wednesday night’s game against the Mariners. Here are some of the highlights:

On adding more pieces before Opening Day: “Absolutely. I think that's always a possibility. Part of our job as a baseball operation staff is to explore every area we possibly can, whether that's inside or outside, and it's something we do on a daily basis.”

On Shohei Ohtani's incredible spring: "I'm not surprised how well he's playing. I was very confident with the work he put in this offseason. I felt like he was going to come in and have a very productive Spring Training. I like where he's at body-wise, he's a lot stronger than he's been in the past. I like where he's at mentally. I think he's in a really good place, very confident. I like where he's at as far as teammate-wise, he's interacting with the guys and I think he's enjoying himself on a daily basis. He's having a great spring and hopefully it carries over."

On relaying information to coaches and players with the help of assistant GM Alex Tamin: "It's something that is really important. And, again, I go back to just my experience being in a clubhouse and being in a dugout. I think how we relay information, not only to coaches but to players is really, really important, and you have to learn each individual. And Joe's been outstanding with that. A big thing for us is just simplifying things and finding what's really important."

On the investigation involving pitching coach Mickey Callaway: "No update yet. It's a very important topic, I get it, but there's nothing to update right now. I will when the time comes."

On who is replacing Mike La Cassa, the club’s former director of Minor League operations: "Joey Prebynski will be our farm director. Joey came over from St. Louis. Talented guy. Well-versed in a lot of different areas. He'll be a key person for this organization going forward, developing our players. I give Mike a lot of credit. He went to Major League Baseball and had a great opportunity there."

On the AL West: "I think it's a tough division. Houston has been on an outstanding run. They're well-run with James Click and his staff. Pretty impressive group, they have a lot of quality players, some young arms and they've won a lot of games, so I don't see them going anywhere. Oakland, I think, is one of the best-run teams in baseball. David [Forst] and Billy [Beane] and what that group is able to do is pretty amazing. They're tough. They still have a lot of quality players and they're always in the mix, they find a way. Seattle's ascending with young talent and we saw it last year and I think we'll see more of it this year. Jerry [Dipoto] has them on the right track. In Texas, it's the same thing. They've got some really young players who are interesting. I think the Chris Young hire was an outstanding hire and I've known him for a long time. He'll do wonders there. I think it's a really difficult division and I think we'll be competitive. But that’s why you play the games, we’ll see."

On getting back to the postseason for only the second time since Mike Trout’s debut in 2011: "I think if you asked him, he'd tell you it's more than just him. There's a lot of people here that want to win. You know that's what exciting. Obviously, he wants to win. He's expressed that, I understand that. But Anthony Rendon didn't sign here to lose. He wants to win, too. He's a winning guy, he's been in the postseason a lot. He expects to get back to the postseason. And the guys we brought in have postseason pedigrees, like Kurt Suzuki and Dexter Fowler on the World Series stage."