Something has to give. The Texas Rangers struggled throughout April, and as the calender has flipped to May, those struggles are still ongoing. The offense has been stuck in neutral. The pitching staff has been in shambles. The injured players may well outnumber the healthy ones. It is not a joyous time in Arlington right now.
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With that being the case, it is expected that changes would be happening sooner rather than later. According to General Manager Jon Daniels, changes will be forthcoming. And these will not be minor tweaks to the lineup either according to Daniels. These will be major changes, shaking up the Rangers as we currently know them. But what changes could be made?
We all know that Josh Hamilton will be back at some point, but that is not likely to be a part of the moves that Daniels is referring to. Instead, the speculation points to a player like Rougned Odor being sent to AAA, the benching of a struggling player like Elvis Andrus or Shin-Soo Choo, or the removal of Dave Magadan as hitting coach. Or, if Daniels is truly looking to take a hatchet to this Rangers roster, all three.
But what would those moves really do? Sending down Odor opens up playing time for someone like Ed Lucas or Adam Rosales. Both players are nice stories, but that is about it. Besides, for as much as Odor’s .148/.266/.247 batting line has underwhelmed this season, Rosales is only hitting at a .167/.231/.292 rate. That’s not a lot better.
Benching Andrus or Choo would have the same effect. Unless Hamilton is suddenly ready to play, then there just does not appear to be that drastic of an upgrade on the 25 man roster. Benching Andrus would likely lead to Rosales being in the lineup each day, which is not exactly an improvement. Choo would, theoretically, give way to Carlos Pegeuro, who is not exactly hitting the cover off the ball.
This would leave, of those above options, the firing of hitting coach Dave Magadan as the only logical solution. While it is fair to wonder exactly how much a hitting coach can matter, sometimes a different voice can be a major change. Players may have begun tuning out Magadan, and given that the Rangers offense has declined since his arrival, he would make a convenient scapegoat.
Short of a major trade, or the news that Jon Daniels has hijacked the TARDIS and stopped Yu Darvish from doing whatever he did to weaken his elbow, the removal of Dave Magadan as hitting coach seems to be the most likely move, at least right now. Could Daniels surprise everyone? Certainly. However, when plotting a major change to the team, there really is so much that can be done with the present personnel.
Jon Daniels has put the Texas Rangers players and coaching staff on notice with his statements. It will be interesting to see how they respond.