Rangers flip roles for Pettis, Anderson

New hitting coach Dave Magadan may be the only new face in for the major league coaching staff for the Texas Rangers, but he’s not the only person in a new job.

The Rangers announced Thursday that Gary Pettis and Dave Anderson are changing jobs. Pettis will handle the third base coaching duties and Anderson will work at first base.

Pettis has been the club’s first base coach for the last six seasons while Anderson handled the duties at third for the last four seasons.

The Rangers, who struggled on the bases in 2012, want to take advantage of Pettis’ ability in that area.

“We want to use all the instincts that we can, and with Gary being the base running guy that he is, I just wanted to get him on the other side to see if we can use his expertise on the base paths to help us certainly put the runs on the board that we feel like we didn’t get done last year,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “This isn’t a demotion for Dave. This gives Dave an opportunity to move to the other side and deal with the technical part of it, making sure all the thought processes that go into moving from first around the base paths are taken care of.”

Washington said the rest of the coaching staff will remain intact for next season. Magadan was hired two weeks ago to be the team’s hitting coach, replacing Scott Coolbaugh. Pettis does have some experience coaching at third base. He managed in the Arizona Fall League and coached third base there.

“As we got closer to the end of the year I personally started thinking about things we could do to be better,” Washington said. “We can use Gary’s skill-set better over there.”

Pettis will also have a helping hand if needed in Washington, who was Oakland’s third-base coach before getting the managing job with the Rangers.

The Rangers scored 808 runs in 2012, 47 less than they scored in 2011. The Rangers also saw a decrease in stolen bases (from 143 to 91) and were caught stealing 44 times.