Don Wakamatsu will return as the bench coach for the Texas Rangers in 2019. He will be the right-hand man to new manager, Chris Woodward.
In the background of the Chris Woodward hiring, the Texas Rangers decided to keep Don Wakamatsu as their bench coach. Wakamatsu was among the 12 candidates interviewed for the team’s managerial opening.
It’s an encouraging mutual move between the two parties. Wakamatsu has been around the game for many years and he probably could have played his hand in other managerial vacancies if he so chose. To stick around with the same organization that didn’t grant him the manager position…that speaks volumes to his loyalty.
Wakamatsu’s experience should have great influence on the new manager. He himself managed the Seattle Mariners for a season and a half (2009-2010). Believe it not, he actually managed Chris Woodward, who was part of the Mariners squad in each season. Thus, Wakamatsu and Woodward clearly already have a relationship.
An established relationship with the new head man, a lengthy coaching background, and an already existing comfortability with the Rangers’ players makes Don Wakamatsu a sensible pick as the bench coach. Surely he will be welcomed back to the clubhouse with opened arms!
With the manager and bench coach written down in ink, the next step is for the Texas Rangers to decide who will coach the pitching staff. Doug Brocail has been the club’s pitching coach for three seasons now and assistant pitching coach, Dan Warthen, was hired to the role just a year ago.
With a new manager in place and a pitching staff that was, by most accounts, the 29th best in baseball in 2018, you’d have to think a changing cast is possible, if not probable. Finalized decisions on the Rangers’ coaching staff should be made in the coming weeks.