Published November 01, 2012
The Texas Rangers are swapping sides for their base coaches, a move manager Ron Washington hopes will lead to a more aggressive approach and more runs.
Washington said Thursday that he is switching Gary Pettis to the third-base box and moving Dave Anderson to first.
"Gary being the baserunning guy that he is, I just wanted to get him on the other side and see if we could use his expertise on the basepaths to help us," Washington said. "The name of the game is scoring runs. Because of his baserunning prowess when he was a player, I think he'll be able to react a lot more quickly. ... He'll just be able to take more chances because he was a base runner, and will have a good feel for if a guy has a chance to make it or not."
Pettis had 354 stolen bases and scored 568 runs in 11 major league seasons with four teams, including the Rangers (1990-91). He has been the first base coach the past six seasons, and is the primary baserunning instructor.
Anderson has been the third base coach since joining the Rangers staff four years ago.
"This isn't a demotion to Dave," Washington said.
Texas still scored a league-high 808 runs this season, but that was down from 855 in 2011. The stolen bases also were down, from 143 to 91.
Early in the 2011 season at Detroit, Anderson was coaching third base when he told Josh Hamilton to try a daring dash to an uncovered plate on a foul popout. Hamilton was thrown out and broke a bone in his right arm on a headfirst dive, and the slugger was out of the lineup for six weeks.
Pettis, the only coach who has been in Texas for all of Washington's six seasons as manager, will keep his role of working with outfielders. Anderson will continue working with infielders.
The only personnel change on Washington's staff going into next season is Dave Magadan replacing Scott Coolbaugh as hitting coach. That move was made last month after the Rangers lost in the AL wild-card game.
Bench coach Jackie Moore, pitching coach Mike Maddux, and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins all will return for their fifth seasons on the staff.
After going to the World Series the previous two years, the Rangers lost the AL West crown on the last day of the regular season and then lost at home to Baltimore in the one-game wild card.
"If you've never been in playoff contention, and never had an opportunity to play after the regular season was over, and you came home, you never missed that," Washington said. "But when you found yourself playing on the big stage, especially like we have for the past two years, and all of a sudden you find yourself at home, it hurts."