The Rangers have made some coaching changes this afternoon, informing bench coach Don Wakamatsu and hitting coach Luis Ortiz that they will not return to the Rangers dugout in 2022. Whether assistant hitting coach Callix Crabbe and run production coordinator Alex Burg return will be left to the discretion of the incoming hitting coach, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Other title changes may be on the horizon but invites have been extended to the rest of the current coaching staff.
Wakamatsu has spent the last four seasons serving as Texas’ bench coach and nine seasons overall in a coaching capacity, a tenure that remarkably saw four different managers take the helm. Ortiz meanwhile re-joined the organization as a hitting instructor when Chris Woodward was hired to take over the reigns as manager in 2019.
Change was inevitable for a Rangers team that netted just 60 wins this season and finished with the third-worst record in the sport. While the Wakamatsu release speaks to a desire for an organizational shakeup, the Ortiz release is perhaps more driven by the team’s 84 OPS+ and low offensive ranks. In 2021, the Rangers offense ranked last in the Majors in both OBP and OPS, producing a cumulative line of .232/.294/.375. They were near the back of the pack in most other offensive categories as well. These numbers were actually buoyed by Joey Gallo’s pre-deadline peformance and will no doubt look to be improved upon by whomever the front office tabs as Ortiz’s successor.