The Angels turned into a high-priced mess this season when a slow start essentially eliminated them from playoff contention in July. They were never above .500 after opening day, eventually finishing third in the AL West behind Oakland and Texas.
A lineup featuring MVP candidate Mike Trout, three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, former AL MVP Josh Hamilton, slugger Mark Trumbo and a solid supporting cast couldn't overcompensate for a pitching staff that performed poorly and struggled with injuries for much of the Angels' fourth straight season out of the playoffs.
Scioscia and Dipoto both agree the Angels need changes, but the Angels' enormous financial commitments to 30-something sluggers Pujols and Hamilton will limit their roster flexibility for years. So Los Angeles will attempt to bolster Dipoto's offseason moves by changing faces on Scioscia's coaching staff.
Picciolo had been the Angels' bench coach for three seasons, but Scioscia said third base coach Dino Ebel will be promoted to the role next season. The Angels haven't decided on a new hitting coach or third base coach, and Dipoto said they're likely to add one or two additional assistants to Scioscia's staff.
"We feel like a different voice in some areas can be helpful," Dipoto said. "We've spent a lot of time talking over the last couple of weeks about how we can improve, and unfortunately good people sometimes have to suffer for the good of the whole, and that's probably the case here."
Scioscia and Dipoto effusively praised Eppard, who became the Angels' hitting coach early in the 2012 season when Dipoto fired Mickey Hatcher, Scioscia's longtime assistant. The move opened a rift between Scioscia and Dipoto, but both men have repeatedly said they're past it.
"When Mickey was let go, we moved on from that," Scioscia said. "There's nothing but us wanting to work as a team and get better, and that's what we're going to look to do. There's a lot of great ideas floating around our organization the last couple of years. We're going to continue to enact these ideas and harvest them and hopefully make ourselves better."