The Texas Rangers have made a coaching change directed at the team's late-season hitting slump. The team announced late Friday the hiring of Dave Magadan as hitting instructor. He will replace Scott Coolbaugh, who will be offered another position in the organization.
A source told Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News that the Rangers met Magadan earlier in the week. Magadan had an option left on his contract as Red Sox hitting instructor. The Red Sox reportedly wanted Magadan to return in 2013, but allowed their coaches to talk to other teams while they search for a new manager to replace the fired Bobby Valentine.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports Magadan was the only name on the Rangers' wish list.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he only called Magadan and that if the 50-year-old hadn't taken the job, the club would have stayed with Scott Coolbaugh.
The Rangers finished the 2012 season first in the AL in runs (808), fourth in home runs (200), third in on-base percentage (.334) and second in slugging (.446), while hitting one point behind the AL leading Los Angeles Angels with a team average of .273.
After opening the season with timely, productive hitting, the Rangers slumped in the summer, especially with runners in scoring position. Consistent producers from the team's back-to-back AL pennant-winning lineups, including lead-off hitter Ian Kinsler, veteran Michael Young, catcher Mike Napoli and even slugger Josh Hamilton, slumped badly in the season's second half.
In the final two weeks of the regular season, the Rangers hit just .251 as a team and averaged 3.8 runs.
"It's not what happened the last two weeks," Daniels said. "Obviously, when you make a change the headlines come out the next day and it's easy to say we're putting this on one person's feet. But that's not true. The fact that we didn't get it done was on everybody. We're not panicking. We're looking for ways to improve."