Spike Owen was hired this time last year to be the manager of Low A Hickory in the Carolina League, but was needed elsewhere in the Texas Rangers’ system.
The big-league club had a temporary hole to fill in the third-base coach’s box as Tony Beasley started his battle with cancer. Owen was the choice, and he was there for all 162 games as the Rangers won the American League West.
Beasley will be back in 2017, and Owen will finally get to manage in Hickory after the Rangers announced on Thursday their minor-league coaches and coordinators for next season.
Former MLB All-Star Howard Johnson will be the manager of the Rangers’ new High A team in Kinston, N.C., after leading High Desert to the California League title in 2016.
There weren’t many changes across the board, though longtime Short-Season A Spokane manager Tim Hulett won’t return and will be replaced by Matt Hagen. But the managers at Triple A Round Rock (Jason Wood), Double A Frisco (Joe Mikulik), High A Down East (Howard Johnson), the Arizona Rookie League (Matt Siegel) and the Dominican Summer League (Carlos Cardoza) remain the same.
The only new coordinator is Damon Mashore, brother of Rangers assistant hitting coach Jason Mashore. Damon Mashore will oversee base running. Pitching coordinator Danny Clark returns for his 12th season.