TEMPE, Ariz. -- The "A" is back on Wally Joyner's jersey. The halo is back on his cap. And he says it's "good to be back home."The former first baseman, now 54, was drafted by the Angels in the third round in 1983, finished second in American League Rookie of
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The "A" is back on Wally Joyner's jersey. The halo is back on his cap. And he says it's "good to be back home."
The former first baseman, now 54, was drafted by the Angels in the third round in 1983, finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 1986, went on to play 16 Major League seasons and came back to the Angels to retire in their uniform at the end of 2001.
He was the Detroit Tigers' hitting coach for the past three seasons, and manned that position for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013, but he's a free agent now.
He says he would be interested in managerial or bench coach openings, but for the time being, Joyner, who lives in Utah, is in the midst of a week at Angels spring camp and said he'd probably help out here and there with the Triple-A team in Salt Lake City, and the Class A team in Orem, Utah, when the Minor League seasons begin.
"It's where it all started and where it ended," Joyner said. "And not by accident. I hope it wasn't by accident that they drafted me. I was able to come back at the end of my career to finish. Those are great memories."
Joyner said the team has asked him "to just use my eyes a little bit, help out with some hitters" this week. He has been working with top prospect Matt Thaiss in his transition to first base, and has consulted Cameron Maybin, with whom Joyner worked in Detroit last year. Maybin, for whom the Angels traded in the offseason to play left field, was hitless in Cactus League play entering Monday.
Joyner will depart Wednesday, but he said he's looking forward to putting on that Angels uniform again soon.
"I'm happy to help out any way I can," he said.
• Scioscia said infielders Luis Valbuena (sore legs) and Cliff Pennington (shoulder stiffness), and lefty Tyler Skaggs (shoulder weakness) are progressing and on track to play in Wednesday's game against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.
• The Angels on Monday optioned left-hander Nate Smith to Triple-A Salt Lake, and reassigned catcher Jose Briceno to Minor League camp.