Former Angels pitcher Troy Percival celebrates after defeating the Oakland… (George Nikitin / Associated…)
MINNEAPOLIS — The Angels moved Tuesday to defuse speculation they were pursuing former closer Troy Percival, possibly as a replacement for pitching coach Mike Butcher, and Percival said Tuesday that “no one has contacted me directly” about a job with the team.
Percival, who took over this spring as varsity coach for a struggling Moreno Valley High program, said he recently received a call from his agent, Paul Cohen, saying the Angels had “made an inquiry.” But Cohen left for vacation, and Percival has not talked to the agent about it since.
Foxsports.com, citing a major league source, reported that a third party had contacted Percival about a coaching job, though it was unclear whether that pursuit was related to the Angels’ early-season pitching struggles.
“I figured if there was anything to it, they would have called me because I talk to Tim all the time,” Percival said, referring to Tim Mead, Angels vice president of communications. “I didn’t read much into it.”
Percival, who amassed 358 saves from 1995-2009 and helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series, has served as a spring training guest instructor for several years, and he attends games regularly.
He watched last week’s home opener from owner Arte Moreno’s suite, “and it seems like every time I’m spotted there, this comes up in the next few days,” he said. Mead said there was “nothing going on” with Percival.
“Troy continues to be a big part of the organization, lending his support as an almuni for special events and coming to spring training every year,” Mead said. “But that’s the extent of his role at this time.”
Percival would like to return to the major league level as a coach but said he wants to spend at least two or three years trying to revive the program at Moreno Valley, where his son will eventually play.
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