Monday's MLB: Rangers fire manager Woodward after four straight losing seasons
Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward on Monday, with the team on pace for its sixth consecutive losing season and fourth since he took over the team.
The move came with Woodward only two games shy of managing his 500th game with the Rangers. He finished with a 211-287 record.
Woodward, who was the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers before landing his first managerial job, was under contract through next season. The team held an option for the 2024 season.
“We have had extensive discussions over the last several weeks and while the team’s current performance is certainly a big part of this decision, we are also looking at the future,” said Jon Daniels, the team’s president of baseball operations. “As the Rangers continue to develop a winning culture and put the pieces together to compete for the postseason year in and year out, we felt a change in leadership was necessary at this time.”
Daniels said the 46-year-old Woodward was “dedicated and passionate in his efforts to improve the on-field performance” of the team.
Third base coach Tony Beasley was named the team’s interim manager, starting with Monday night’s game against the Oakland A’s.
Texas was 53-61 after finishing a series win at home Sunday over the Seattle Mariners, but hasn’t had a winning record at any point this season. That’s even after a record offseason spending spree that added a half-billion dollar infield – All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to a $325 million, 10-year contract, and Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien to a $175, seven-year deal.
The Rangers peaked at 24-24 at the end of May, but then lost their next three games and five of six.
When the Rangers signed Seager, Semien and right-hander Jon Gray (four-year, $56 million contract), they knew they still had a long way to go after 102 losses last season. But they expected to be showing more significant improvement this season.
Beasley is in his eighth season with the Rangers, and is the longest-tenured member of their big-league coaching staff. He previously was on the major league staffs with Washington (2006) and Pittsburgh (2008-10), and had a 590-472 record in eight seasons as a minor league manager in those organizations.
Blue Jays activate Springer
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer was activated off the injured list and will bat first Monday night as the designated hitter against the Baltimore Orioles.
Springer went on the injured list on Aug. 5 because of a sore right elbow, the same injury that caused him to skip last month’s All-Star Game. Toronto has lost six of eight without Springer.
Springer, who signed a six-year, $150 million deal with Toronto before the 2021 season, is expected to see more time at DH than in the outfield as he continues to deal with elbow soreness. He is batting .251 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs in 89 games.
A four-time All-Star and MVP of the 2017 World Series while with Houston, Springer was limited to 78 games last season, his first with Toronto, because of injuries to his right quadriceps and left ankle.
To make room for Springer, the Blue Jays designated outfielder Bradley Zimmer for assignment.