Omar Vizquel is about to start his first post-playing career job as roving infield instructor with the Los Angeles Angels. As one of my favorite players from the ’90s era Indians, I always hoped he would come back to Cleveland as a coach, much like Sandy Alomar Jr. At least for his first post-retirement job, Vizquel will not be returning to Cleveland. He’ll start working with the Angels at their spring training complex in Tempe, Arizona, and will rotate through their minor league affiliates during the season.
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto was familiar with Vizquel from their time in Cleveland. Dipoto, who is a year younger than Vizquel, was drafted by the Indians and pitched for them in 1993 and 1994. (Dipoto was eventually traded to the Mets in the Jeromy Burnitz deal in 1994). Even though the general manager was the one that officially hired Vizquel, his working for the Angels was actually the brainchild of another former Indians player – Paul Sorrento. Sorrento is a roving hitting instructor with the Angels, and also spends his offseasons in Seattle, like Vizquel. He contacted Vizquel to gauge his interest, and the rest was history.
Vizquel would one day like to manage in the major leagues. Even though roving infield instructor is a bit far from his eventual goal, it is a great starting point for the newly-retired shortstop. While I wish he was working with the Indians, I think it’s great that he’s around some familiar faces from his time in Cleveland. It will be interesting to see if he’s able to impart some of his defensive wisdom on the young infielders in the Angels system.