Texas Rangers: What is manager Chris Woodward’s future?

Seth Carlson
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 20: Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers on the field against the Los Angeles Angels in the top of the fourth inning during game two of a doubleheader at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 20: Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers on the field against the Los Angeles Angels in the top of the fourth inning during game two of a doubleheader at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /
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Does Texas Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward have a place in the team’s future?

Chris Woodward was hired as the Texas Rangers‘ manager prior to the 2019 season.

Since arriving in Arlington as Jeff Banister’s replacement, the soon to be third year skipper has compiled a 100-122 record, good for a .450 winning percentage.

Woodward, a former MLB player, was the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers between 2016 and 2018, participating on back-to-back World Series teams.

So “Woody” knows what winning looks like.

It’s a shame that the Texas Rangers haven’t done much of it since he’s been the manager, though.

What looked like a promising (and overachieving) start to the 2019 campaign for Woodward’s Rangers (a 48-42 record through the first half of that campaign) resulted in negative regression that ultimately produced losing records in the second half of July, August and September of 2019.

The team would complete Woody’s first season in Texas with a 78-85 record, good for third place in the AL West.

That result actually wasn’t bad, especially given the dim outlook projected for the Rangers leading into 2019.

But, it was still mildly disappointing when considering the team’s standing prior to the 2019 All-Star Game.

Unfortunately, Woodward couldn’t repeat that same hot start in 2020, as his Texas Rangers struggled all throughout the pandemic-shortened, 60-game sprint.

The team wound up with a 22-38 record in that span, good for a date with the AL West cellar. Not ideal.

Of course, the Rangers’ lack of recent success can’t be chalked up entirely to the skipper.

Chris Woodward can’t be blamed for all of the Texas Rangers’ problems.

The organization has begun a youth movement as they lend an eye towards the future, meaning sacrificing talent at the MLB level in favor of bolstering the farm system and player development regimes.

Therefore, Woodward can only work with what assets he has at his disposal.

The third-year skipper is entering the last season of his guaranteed contract in 2021, though Texas holds a club option on him for 2022.

With the Rangers mired in a sort of re-tool, it’s clear the organization at least trusts him to guide this roster through these lean times.

However, what comes after Texas decides they’ve completed their rebuilding effort is unknown.

Perhaps the team goes in a different direction as they seek a skipper more equipped to lead their next contending squads. Or maybe Woodward proves his worth in 2021 with an improved roster that includes new acquisitions David Dahl, Dane Dunning, Nate Lowe, Kohei Arihara and Charlie Culberson.

However the Texas Rangers decide to handle Chris Woodward’s immediate and/or long term future, it will certainly be interesting to keep tabs on.

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