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Inbox: What will Angels' 2019 infield look like?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers questions from Angels fans
MLB.com @mi_guardado

General manager Billy Eppler laid out what he's looking for in the next Angels manager during his end of season press conference at Angel Stadium last week.

Tweet from @joeflorkowski: Mike Scioscia received a lot of flak for being seen as "old school" whether that was true or not - any idea on what qualities the Angels front office is looking for in the next skipper?

General manager Billy Eppler laid out what he's looking for in the next Angels manager during his end of season press conference at Angel Stadium last week.

"What we're looking for in that next manager is connectivity with the players," Eppler said. "We're looking for somebody who can think with a probability-based mindset. We're going to look for someone who is eager to grow and evolve. Someone that can develop a culture that will put the welfare of the team above any singular person."

Prior managerial experience will not be required, so I think the Angels could lean toward younger candidates who are well-versed in analytics. More >>

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Tweet from @LSittig: Eppler says he���s looking for durable arms. Any discussion of changing medical staff, trainers or pitching coaches to avoid the huge number of injuries to pitchers��� arms we���ve seen?

Eppler said there will be some changes made regarding the Angels' approach to injury prevention next season, but I don't think he was referring specifically to personnel changes.

"We are going to utilize newer technology to supplement what we have been doing," Eppler said. "There have been new measures introduced in the last few months that we are going to explore."

One Angels pitcher told me he feels like the club's medical staff is actually very proactive when it comes to treating injuries, so I don't think it's fair to blame the trainers for all of the health issues that have befallen the team recently.

Tweet from @Albyers77: What do you think the opening day infield will look like for the Angels?

It's tough to project what the infield will look like right now because there are a lot of question marks at various positions. Andrelton Simmons will undoubtedly be at shortstop. Zack Cozart will flank him at either second or third base, depending on which young player wins a starting job during Spring Training. Third baseman Taylor Ward, second baseman Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher, who can play second or third, will be among the contenders for that spot. If Shohei Ohtani is available to hit by Opening Day, I would expect Albert Pujols to be at first base. If not, Pujols will likely serve as the designated hitter, leaving a potential opening for Jose Fernandez, Matt Thaiss or Jared Walsh at first.

Video: LAA@OAK: Simmons and Cozart turn two in the 5th

Tweet from @Razzball: Will Ohtani get 500+ ABs in 2019?

That number seems a little high, especially since Ohtani's availability for Opening Day has been put in question by Tommy John surgery. The Angels will also have to occasionally start Pujols at DH to give him a break from playing first base, so that could also infringe on Ohtani's at-bats next year. I think his total at-bats will end up being somewhere in the 400 range.

Tweet from @jaydieguez: Which pitching prospects should fans look forward to reading about for spring training?

I suspect you'll hear a lot about left-hander Jose Suarez and right-hander Griffin Canning, both of whom shot from Class A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake this season. Suarez, 20, logged a 3.92 ERA in 26 starts with 44 walks and 142 strikeouts over 117 innings. Canning, 22, posted a 3.65 ERA in 25 starts with 44 walks and 125 strikeouts over 113 1/3 innings in his first professional season.

Video: Top Prospects: Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels

Tweet from @BrianWanta: Did the Angels reach 3 million in attendance this year?

Yes. They drew 3,022,216 fans this year, marking the 16th consecutive season in which they've reached 3 million in attendance.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels