Dan Ricabal leaves Angels

Dan Ricabal, who has been a pitching coach in the Angels’ minor league system for the last six years, is leaving the organization for a job as pitching coach with Loyola Marymount. We already posted this news in Thursday’s paper, but here is some more detail.

Ricabal, who was the 66ers pitching coach this year and the Quakes’ pitching coach from 2008-10, is leaving because it’s a job with his longtime friend and former Cal State Fullerton teammate Jason Gill. Gill is the head coach at LMU.

“We are lucky to be able to add an experienced pitching coach the caliber of Danny Ricabal to the organization,” Gill said in a press release.  “Danny has a proven track record of success as a pitching coach from Division I to professional baseball, and he has worked with some of the best pitchers in the game at all different levels of play.  As a collegiate athlete, Danny pitched in Omaha and knows what it takes to get there.  He has coached at the Division I level and has a clear understanding of how to get his pitchers to reach their full potential.  There are few coaches in the college ranks that have the experience of pitching in Omaha, coaching Division I and coaching in professional baseball.  He is the total package, and the LMU baseball program made big strides in our quest to be champions with the addition of Danny Ricabal.”

Ricabal, whose last college coaching job was at UC Santa Barbara from 2002-04 said, “there aren’t too many colleges I would consider leaving the Angels for, but having the opportunity to work with Gilly is great.”

Ricabal worked with many of the Angels young pitchers including Tyler Chatwood, Trevor Bell, and Jordan Walden. There are also others now with other organizations, such as David Herndon (Phillies), Sean O’Sullivan (Royals) and Alexander Torres (Rays). He also worked with some great young arms with the 2011 Sixers including fireballer Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena, who was No. 2 in the league in strikeouts.

Once pitcher he has a special interest in how he does in the future is Eddie McKiernan, the Monrovia High product who pitched for the Quakes in 2009 and 10 and was with Double-A Arkansas this year. Ricabal watched McKiernan as a youth, gave him an endorsement when the Angels asked his opinion before drafting him then worked with him in the minors.

“It’s bittersweet. It will be great to coach with Gilly, but the Angels were absolutely tremendous,” Ricabal said. “There are a lot of really good baseball people. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one I had to make in my coaching career. I’m excited.”