Mesa alumnus Billy Eppler hired as new Angels General Manager

Billy+Eppler%2C+right%2C+is+announced+as+the+new+general+manager+for+the+Los+Angeles+Angels+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+5%2C+2015%2C+at+Angel+Stadium+in+Anaheim%2C+Calif.+Club+President+John+Carpino+is+at+left.+%28Gina+Ferazzi%2FLos+Angeles+Times%2FTNS%29
Billy Eppler, right, is announced as the new general manager for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Club President John Carpino is at left. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Billy Eppler, right, is announced as the new general manager for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Club President John Carpino is at left. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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Billy Eppler, right, is announced as the new general manager for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Club President John Carpino is at left. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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Mesa alumnus Billy Eppler was named General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Monday, Oct. 5. Owner Arte Moreno announced the decision. The move has ben anticipated by many following the resignation from former GM, Jerry Dipito. Dipito’s tenure with Anaheim began in 2011 when Eppler was also in contention for the job.

Eppler as well as attending Mesa College from 1994-96, is also a San Diego native, having attended University of San Diego High School. During his time at Mesa, Eppler pitched for the Olympians and posted a 7-3 record over those two years.

After Mesa, he transferred to the University of Connecticut to continue his pitching career. Shortly into his time at Connecticut, he suffered a shoulder injury, which ended his baseball career. Surprisingly enough, his injury did not completely end his athletic career at UCONN.

He began to compete for the rugby team, which ultimately competed in the NCAA Final 8 tournament. Eppler graduated from University of Connecticut in 1998 with a bachelor’s in finance.

Following his collegiate tenure, Eppler began interning for the Washington Redskins. In 2000, the Colorado Rockies hired Eppler as a scout where he served for the next four years until he was hired again as a scout by the New York Yankees in 2004.

His time as a scout for the Yankees was short-lived. After completing one full season he was promoted by GM Brian Cashman to Director of the Professional Scouting. Eppler served this role until the 2011-12 season when he was promoted to the assistant General Manager position under Cashman. At the same time of his promotion to assistant GM, he received much attention from other ball clubs looking for a new General Manager.

Eppler was passed up in 2011 by the Angles for their GM position. Again in 2014, the Padres placed San Diego local Eppler in contention for their GM position but ultimately decided upon A.J. Preller instead.

Eppler is stepping into a tough position with the Angels. On one shoulder he has owner Arte Moreno, who is notorious for playing a large role in personnel decisions. Moreno is publicly credited for acquiring Josh Hamilton, which was perceived as a huge failure. On his other shoulder stands Mike Scioscia, who is widely known for his big ego and “old-school’ style of approach of baseball which is one that is fading in the modern game.

Eppler’s first notable move as GM was the firing of pitching coach Mike Butcher and hitting coach Don Baylor. It is expected that Eppler will strongly pursue soon-to-be free agent pitching coach of the Chicago Cubs, Mike Maddux to replace Butcher.

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