The search for a bench coach and first-base coach will intensify next week as Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels pare a lengthy list of candidates and possibly conduct interviews.
Daniels has said that the preference is to look within the organization first, and that could be where he and Washington find the replacement for Dave Anderson in the first-base box and as infield instructor. Double A Frisco manager Steve Buechele is a possibility.
Washington would prefer to have a bench coach who has big-league managing experience, but no one within the organization has that on his résumé. Former Seattle manager Eric Wedge and former Colorado manager Jim Tracy have been considered.
“Wash and I have had some conversations and tried to prioritize what it is we want to address,” Daniels said. “It’s a little bit like a puzzle. You have to make sure certain areas are covered, and make sure the staff complements each other.”
The Rangers chose last week not to renew the contracts of Anderson and Jackie Moore for 2013 after five seasons, 457 victories and three postseason appearances on Washington’s staff.
Heading the farm
The Rangers will move Mike Daly from international scouting director to oversee day-to-day operations of the minor leagues as part of a reorganization of the farm system’s infrastructure.
Tim Purpura was reassigned within the organization last month after two years as senior director of player development. Daly will take on his responsibilities but report to A.J. Preller, the senior director of player personnel who will also oversee the scouting department.
Daly, who joined the Rangers in 2007, has ties to many of the players at the lower levels in the system, especially those from Latin America.
He has overseen the Rangers’ efforts in the Caribbean since 2009, and played a key role in the signings of, among others, Jurickson Profar, Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman and Jairo Beras.
Right-hander Matt West tossed a scoreless inning Wednesday in his Arizona Fall League debut and his first significant game action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2012.
A converted third baseman, West was injured early in spring training last year but tried to rehab a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. He settled for surgery and missed all of the 2013 season.
West said that trying to get the feel for all of his pitches is the biggest challenge coming back from the operation, but he expects to have his arm strength and upper-90s velocity back by spring training.
“It’s still in there,” he said.