ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia has consistently deflected questions about his future with the Angels since reports surfaced in August that he planned to step down after 19 seasons in the managerial seat. But he addressed his future in a pregame interview on Monday with Terry Smith of KLAA AM 830,
ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia has consistently deflected questions about his future with the Angels since reports surfaced in August that he planned to step down after 19 seasons in the managerial seat. But he addressed his future in a pregame interview on Monday with Terry Smith of KLAA AM 830, the team-owned radio station.
"I love managing," Scioscia told Smith. "I love the dugout. I love the challenge of getting the team and getting them going in the right direction. That's something I thoroughly enjoy."
Asked if he wanted to keep managing, Scioscia said, "I'd like to. We'll continue to evaluate things this week. I'll speak with [owner] Arte [Moreno] and speak with [general manager] Billy [Eppler] and kind of come to a decision. But I think that if you love something, you want to continue to keep doing it. If you can, great, and if it doesn't happen, so be it. But I love the dugout."
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in baseball, is in the final year of the 10-year, $50 million contract he signed with the Angels in the fall of 1999. The most successful manager in franchise history, Scioscia steered the Angels to their first and only World Series championship in 2002 and has also won six division titles and two Manager of the Year awards during his tenure in Anaheim.
But the Angels have not won a postseason game since 2009 and have only one playoff appearance since then, which ended in a sweep at the hands of the Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series. The Angels also failed to live up to heightened expectations in 2018 and enter their final homestand of the season with a 75-81 record. Unless they win their final six games of the season, they will finish with a losing record for the third consecutive year.
If the Angels decide to move on from the 59-year-old Scioscia, they have three internal candidates who will likely be in the mix to succeed him: bench coach Josh Paul, former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and former Major League third baseman Eric Chavez. Ausmus and Chavez are currently special assistants to Eppler.
Gold Glove for Trout?
Angels center fielder Michael Trout is a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, a seven-time All-Star and a five-time Silver Slugger, but he still has his eye on adding another accolade to his impressive resume: a Gold Glove.
Trout was named a Gold Glove finalist in 2012 and '15, but the defensive hardware has so far eluded him. He's making a push to change that this year.
After recording -6 Defensive Runs Saved in 2017, Trout said he wanted to improve his defense at the beginning of the season. The 27-year-old focused on getting better jumps and playing more aggressively in center field, leading to a tangible improvement in some defensive metrics. He now has 7 DRS this season, according to FanGraphs, which ranks fifth among American League center fielders.
Scioscia said he believes Trout's play this year merits Gold Glove consideration.
"Mike's played Gold Glove-caliber center field, there's no question," Scioscia said Monday. "I don't know if there's a guy that we've seen that does such a wide array of things, whether it's taking a hit away, stopping the first and third, which he's as good as there is in baseball in center field, which is an important play for an outfielder. A lot of times it's overlooked, but when you can come in and stop, especially the first and third and the extra base, that's tremendous. So just the presence he brings that puts less pressure on the corner guys with the range he has, so no doubt in my mind, he's playing a Gold Glove-caliber center field."
Simmons, Upton out
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and left fielder Justin Upton were out of the Angels' lineup for Monday's series opener against the Rangers. Simmons, who exited Sunday's game in Houston after landing awkwardly on his right knee while attempting to field a groundball, underwent an MRI exam that came back clean and could return to action on Tuesday. Scioscia said Upton received a routine day off.
Kaleb Cowart and Michael Hermosillo started at shortstop and left field, respectively, on Monday.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.