- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 195 lb.
Dan Ricabal pitched six seasons in the minors, reaching AA, then became a coach.
The Seattle Mariners took Ricabal in the 70th round of the 1990 amateur draft. He did not sign with them, then went 10-1 for Cerritos College in 1992. He transferred to Cal State Fullerton and had a 11-3, 3.48 record in 1993. He improved to 12-1, 2.81 as a senior, a reliable starter for the team that finished third in NCAA Division I. He went 2-0 in the 1994 College World Series, with 3 hits and no earned runs in 11 innings.
Despite having gone 33-5 his last three years of college, he went undrafted. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him. Sent to the Yakima Bears, he went 5-1 with 12 saves and a 0.31 ERA. He somehow was left off the Northwest League All-Star team. In 1995, Ricabal did okay for the San Bernardino Spirit (4-1, 2 Sv, 3.88). During 1996, Dan played for the Savannah Sand Gnats (2-4, 24 Sv, 2.28, .87 WHIP, 78 K in 55 1/3 IP) and the Vero Beach Dodgers (0-2, Sv, 1.20, 14 H, 36 K in 30 IP). He led Dodgers farmhands in ERA (1.90). In the South Atlantic League finals, Ricabal got a rare start, tossing 8 shutout innings for a game three win; in the nightcap, he saved game four to lock up the title.
Ricabal led Dodgers farmhands with 28 saves in 1997, all of which was spent with Vero Beach (4-5, 4.25). He led the minors and set a Florida State League record with 75 appearances; he was one shy of the lead in saves. He won FSL All-Star honors. In 1998, the right-hander struggled with the San Antonio Missions (2-9, 15 Sv, 6.12, 40 BB In 78 IP). He ended his career in the San Francisco Giants system in 1999, appearing for the San Jose Giants (1-0, Sv, 4.91 in 7 G) and Shreveport Captains (2-0, 4.91 in 8 G). Overall, he was 20-22 with 83 saves and a 3.75 ERA in 267 minor league games (only two regular-season starts).
After the conclusion of his playing career, Ricabal moved into coaching at the college level for several years. He was the pitching coach for the 2000 College of the Canyons. He returned to Cal State Fullerton in November 2000 as an administrative assistant for the baseball team during the 2001 season. From 2002-2004 (and possibly 2005), he was the pitching coach for the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ricabal went back to professional baseball in 2006 as the pitching coach for the AZL Angels. He was slated to return to the AZL in 2007 until Pedro Borbon Jr. resigned unexpectedly on May 15th and Ricabal took over as pitching coach for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Ricabal spent the next four years coaching pitchers in the California League with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (2008-2010) and Inland Empire 66ers (2011).
After the Inland Empire season ended, his friend Jason Gill lured Ricabal back into college coaching where he stayed for ten years. Ricabal was pitching coach for Loyola Marymount University from 2012-2016. According to one source, "While at LMU, Ricabal’s pitching staff showed an immediate improvement and recorded some of the best team ERA’s in LMU history. (2013 – 3.17, 2014 – 3.80, 2015 – 3.41 and 2016 – 3.83). Ricabal’s influence not only affected the entire pitching staff but the top pitchers developed rapidly under Ricabal. Four of LMU’s Top-10 best individual season ERAs, including Sean Watkins’ 1.89 in 2015 (third-best) and Colin Welmon’s 2.30 ERA in 2013 (sixth-best) all came under Ricabal’s tutelage." He then moved to Long Beach State University in 2017 and stayed with the Dirtbags through the 2019 season. Ricabal returned to Cal State Fullerton and served as their pitching coach in 2020-2021.
Sources include UCSB bio, various Baseball Almanacs