Former Angels third baseman/outfielder Jack Howell will manage the Burlington Bees this coming season.
This is the first managerial assignment for Howell since his one-year stint as skipper of the Diamondbacks’ team in the rookie-level Pioneer League in 2002. Since then, he served as a coach and instructor for the Diamondbacks, the Marlins and the Mariners before rejoining the Angels organization in 2016. He was the Minor League Field Coordinator for the Angels last year.
Howell’s playing career lasted 17 seasons, with major-league stints in 11 of them. The majority of his MLB games were played for the Angels, but he also suited up for the Astros and the Padres in the big leagues.
Matt Spring is the new hitting coach for the Bees, after he served in that same capacity for the rookie-level Orem Owlz last year. He was the fourth coach on the Bees staff in 2016, which followed a 12-year playing career in the minor leagues. The former catcher/first baseman played in the Midwest League in 2006, batting .205 with 4 HR and 13 RBI in 48 games with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays.
Jonathan Van Eaton is Burlington’s new pitching coach. He was the pitching coach for the Orem Owlz last year and coached in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2015 and 2016. He pitched for Orem in 2013, but an elbow injury in 2014 required Tommy John surgery and prompted him to retire as a player.
The Bees also will have a defensive coach, a newly-created position that will be filled by former Rockies outfielder Cole Garner. His 13-year playing career included four MLB games in the major leagues in 2011.