Rangers notes: Hitting coach sticking to his philosophy

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Dave Magadan knows the drill: When things go badly for an offense, the hitting coach is sought out for an explanation.

On the heels of a six-game losing streak that included two 1-0 losses, Magadan met with the media Monday afternoon for more than 10 minutes in an attempt to explain what has gone wrong with the Texas Rangers’ lineup.

He rattled off a number of issues, most notably failures with runners in scoring position, but said that the key is to stick with the plan that helped them roll to 20 wins last month.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” said Magadan, who was hired away from Boston 11 months ago. “The bottom line is you’ve got to stay on course. You can’t switch philosophies. That’s as basic as it gets.

“We’ve had periods of times when we’ve been really good about it. If you’re not doing those things, it’s tough to score runs. I know what we have here in this room; we’re capable of being better. It’s my job to get it out of them.”

The Rangers entered Monday’s opener at Tropicana Field in a six-game home run drought, and batting .225 with runners in scoring position over their past 15 games. Magadan said that he can’t do anything about the homers but said the key to getting runners in is to have more patient at-bats.

Manager Ron Washington said that Magadan isn’t to blame for the Rangers’ malaise.

“Our last nine ballgames, no one coach had anything to do with what’s going on,” Washington said. “It’s not just the coaches. It’s all of us. It’s everyone.”

Murphy sits

Washington said he has met with David Murphy and explained to the left fielder that he won’t be playing regularly down the stretch, words that miffed Murphy but also words that he understands as he goes through the worst season of his career.

Murphy was replaced Monday by rookie Jim Adduci, who had three hits Sunday. Murphy has six hits in his past 18 games, covering 34 at-bats, and he remains hopeful that he will strike on something over the final two weeks.

“It’s been a challenging year,” said Murphy, who is a free agent after the season. “If I had an answer to that, I don’t think you’d see the bottom line you’re seeing. If I can find it for the remaining 14 games for whatever opportunities I get, it’s going to be a huge opportunity to help the team.”

Washington said that Murphy will be in the mix in some capacity the rest of the way.

“Murphy’s done a lot for us over the years,” Washington said. “He understands. He knows what’s going on.”

Players meet

Rangers veterans called a players-only meeting before the first of four games against Tampa Bay to help address issues that had led to a six-game losing streak that dropped them 6 1/2 games behind Oakland in the American League West with 14 games remaining.

Murphy said it was a productive meeting that got everyone back on the same page. Manager Ron Washington said he hoped the players were “figuring it out.”

“It’s not about what they said,” Washington said. “It’s about them going out there and doing it.”

The Rangers were swept in a six-game homestand for the first time in club history to all but fall out of the AL West race. But they entered Monday tied with the Rays for the wild-card lead and a half-game ahead of Cleveland.

“We still have an opportunity in front of us to get to the World Series and be that last team standing,” Murphy said.

Briefly

• Ian Kinsler is the Rangers’ nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player who makes the biggest impact off the field through community service.

• Ray Davis, one of the two principal owners of the Rangers, checked in at No. 296 on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.9 billion.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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