UPDATE: As expected, the Rangers have hired Bosley as their new hitting coach.
After one season as Texas’ hitting coach Clint Hurdle was hired as Pittsburgh’s manager and now the Rangers are interviewing five different candidates to replace him: Thad Bosley, Ty Van Burkleo, Scott Coolbaugh, Luis Ortiz, Johnny Narron.
Rangers hitting coach is a pretty good gig, as they’re the defending American League champs with the likely league MVP in the middle of the lineup and play in one of the majors’ top hitters’ ballparks.
Hurdle parlayed the job into managing again and the guy he replaced, Rudy Jaramillo, left the Rangers to become one of baseball’s highest-paid coaches with the Cubs.
Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News notes that Bosley finished runner-up to Hurdle in the job search last offseason, so presumably he has a leg up this time around.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”