When the Rangers fired hitting coach Thad Bosley yesterday after just two months on the job I wrote that it couldn’t have been based on the lineup’s performance, because they rank fourth among AL teams in runs scored with a similar output to last season.
And sure enough, comments from the front office and various players made it clear that Bosley was let go not because the offense was struggling under his tutelage, but because most players didn’t like working with him.
Here’s what Josh Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
He just didn’t fit with us. He’s a professional in the way he approaches the game and teaches the game, but it just didn’t mesh with our clubhouse. It was communication … not a lot there. You’d like to have somebody that knows when to back off, knows when to approach, gets what they want to get across to you, but find out your personality and find out how to get it across to you. Those things just didn’t happen the way they needed to.
Adding to the surprisingly quick firing is that Bosley was hired in part because of his long friendship with Ron Washington, but the manager seemed to accept the move while praising replacement Scott Coolbaugh:
Coolbaugh has a relationship with those guys and they trust in him. He’s sharp. We won’t miss a beat. We’ll move forward.
Coolbaugh worked with many of the Rangers’ hitters in the minors and shortstop Elvis Andrus in particular had good things to say about him. Of course, just a few months ago everyone had good things to say about Bosley too and now Coolbaugh is the Rangers’ fourth hitting coach in less than three seasons.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.