Rangers fill several coaching holes
The Texas Rangers have officially filled all but one of their coaching vacancies by keeping Mike Maddux as the pitching coach and tabbing Steve Buechele as the new bench coach.
The club is also retaining Andy Hawkins as the bullpen coach and has named Hector Ortiz as the team’s new first-base coach. Jayce Tingler is the new major-league field coordinator and Bobby Jones is back as the assistant hitting coach. Dave Magadan, who talked with other teams this offseason, will also return as the hitting coach.
The only vacancy remaining on the big-league staff is for a third-base coach.
Buechele, who is replacing Tim Bogar, managed at Round Rock this season and interviewed for both the Texas and Houston managing vacancy. The former Texas third baseman has spent the last six years managing in the Rangers’ system.
"I’m really excited about it," said Buechele, who spent seven years of his 11-season career with Texas. "I think, just like the players in the minor leagues, they want to make it to the big leagues. I’ve done it as a player and since I came back as a manager, my goal was to be on the big league staff."
Maddux, whose contract was set to expire at midnight, also interviewed for the Texas managing job. He is entering his seventh year as the pitching coach for the Rangers. Hawkins is also back for his seventh season as the bullpen coach.
"As Aerosmith would say, I’m back in the saddle again and looking forward to riding shotgun with Jeff Banister and the staff," Maddux said. "It was a waiting game. It impacted a lot of us, but it’s a good ending."
New manager Jeff Banister hit it off with both Buechele and Maddux immediately.
"It was pretty quick with both men in that we believe in a lot of the same things," Banister said. "We were capable of working together. They are the type of men I think I can grow with and they can grow with me and go forward with in an effort to make the Texas Rangers a championship-level ball team."
Ortiz was the club’s catching coordinator last season and will handle that role this season as he takes over for Bengie Molina in both capacities.
Tingler has eight seasons of experience with the Rangers, including three as the field coordinator. Banister said Tingler will be in uniform during games and will help with quality control and provide the coaching staff an extra set of eyes.
Jones will be in uniform but because of the limit on coaches on the field, he’ll spend the majority of his time in the batting cages.
The club is still looking for a third-base coach, a position Banister puts a high value on because of the way it impacts the game. He said he’d like the coach to have already had a relationship with Banister.
• The Rangers also announced that pitchers Nate Adcock and Alfredo Figaro and infielder Ed Lucas cleared waivers and were assigned to Round Rock. Adcock is now a free agent after turning down the assignment.
• The club also has 31 players on the 40-man roster with Alex Rios, Scott Baker, Neal Cotts and Colby Lewis no longer on the roster.
• Right-hander Alexi Ogando is throwing bullpen sessions in the Dominican Republic. Right-hander Tanner Scheppers has completed his rehab throwing program and will resume his regular throwing program in January.