Jon Daniels explains why he fired Jeff Banister as Rangers manager
Put another coaching search on the Texas Rangers’ to-do list.
Hitting coach Anthony Iapoce has informed the club that he is leaving for the same post with the Chicago Cubs, a source said on Monday. The news was later confirmed by the Rangers in a news release.
The Rangers hired Iapoce after the 2015 season from the Cubs, for whom he had served as an assistant to the general manager in charge of their minor-league hitting program. The Cubs fired hitting coach Chili Davis last week.
The Rangers are also in the market for an assistant hitting coach after they told Justin Mashore that he would not return for 2019.
All other coaches were told that their futures with the Rangers would be determined after a new manager is hired. General manager Jon Daniels gave them permission to look elsewhere for employment.
The Rangers posted the American League’s third-best average (.262) in Iapoce’s first season in 2016, scored the fourth-most runs (765) and the second-best average with runners in scoring position (.277).
But the average dropped sharply to 13th in 2017 (.244) and to 14th in 2018 (.240), though they scored 799 runs (fifth in AL) in 2017. Their 737 runs in 2018 ranked seventh. They batted .252 with runners in scoring position (10th) in 2017 and .243 (12th) this season.
The Rangers continued their interviews Monday for the managerial vacancy with Tampa Bay Rays field coordinator Rocco Baldelli and San Francisco Giants farm director David Bell. Don Wakamatsu, who finished the season as interim manager and lives in Keller, was expected to interview this week.
The Rangers interviewed four candidates last week – assistant GM Jayce Tingler, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde, Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.