The 2019 option on manager Jeff Banister’s contract was exercised by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, the same day the club announced that one of Banister’s coaches won’t return for 2018.
Bullpen coach Brad Holman was not retained, and field coordinator Josh Bonifay could move to a role in the minor leagues. Holman oversaw one of the worst bullpens in baseball this season, but general manager Jon Daniels said that the relievers’ failures weren’t pinned solely on Holman.
Multiple factors, including player acquisition by Daniels, contributed to the woes even if they were unexpected after a strong showing by largely the same cast in 2017.
“As we look at the structure and the systems and how we communicate and what we do with our staff in trying to make things best fit, we look at the player-first mentality of what do we need to do to challenge our guys,” Banister said.
“And how we need to communicate and what’s the best structure. It’s always a quest of trying to be the best for our players in that regard.”
Holman was hired in 2015 after Andy Hawkins left the staff other opportunities. The Rangers’ bullpen declined considerably in 2017, beginning with the sudden drop-off shown by closer Sam Dyson to open the season. Rangers relievers allowed the highest percentage of inherited runners to score and posted a 4.76 ERA, second worst in the league.
Hector Ortiz was picked as bullpen coach, meaning the Rangers must find a first-base coach for 2018. The Rangers might hire an assistant pitching coach, which would push Bonifay into the minors.
Bench coach Steve Buechele, pitching coach Doug Brocail, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, assistant hitting coach Justin Mashore and third-base coach Tony Beasley are expected to return.