Texas Rangers

Finally, some good news for Rangers and their injured top prospects

Cole Ragans listened intently in the spring of 2017 when given the chance to meet his pitching idol, Cole Hamels. Ragans has been listening to others who have had Tommy John surgery this year.
Cole Ragans listened intently in the spring of 2017 when given the chance to meet his pitching idol, Cole Hamels. Ragans has been listening to others who have had Tommy John surgery this year. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Good news came from the mouths of left-hander Cole Ragans and shortstop Chris Seise on Tuesday, as both prospects reported that they have had no issues during their throwing programs after surgeries earlier in the year.

Ragans underwent Tommy John surgery in late March and threw Tuesday at 105 feet. He will need to reach 120 feet before shutting down for the off-season.

The 2016 first-round pick will leave Arizona on Friday for his home in Florida in advance of his Nov. 3 wedding, but will return to the Surprise Recreation Campus soon after.

“Everything feels phenomenal,” said Ragans, who was ranked as the Rangers’ No. 10 prospect by the Star-Telegram.

Seise, who had the labrum in his right shoulder repaired in late May, is throwing out to 90 feet with a goal of 105 feet before his throwing program ends. He is taking grounders and has been cleared to hit and lift weights.

A first-round pick in 2017 along with outfielder Bubba Thompson, Seise sees positives in missing this season but is eager to play his first full professional season in 2019.

“I should be ready for spring training. I should be ready before that, actually,” Seise said. “At first I thought it was really tough, being pretty young and having surgery pretty quick. But, now, it’s been a learning experience. I’ll be stronger and more mature when I go into my first full season.”

Right-handers Cody Kyle and Alex Speas, who underwent Tommy John surgery during the season, have not started throwing programs and likely won’t pitch until late next season.

Another righty, Clayton Blackburn, is rehabbing at his home after having Tommy John at the beginning of the season. Veteran righty Edinson Volquez completed his throwing program and pitched off a mound during instructs after a second Tommy John in his career. He is no longer in Arizona and is a candidate for the Rangers’ rotation in 2019.

Coaches not retained

The Rangers have parted ways with four minor-league coaches and a trainer, with High A Down East manager Spike Owen the most notable.

Owen, from Cleburne, was a manager the past three seasons in the organization and was also the Rangers interim third-base coach in 2016 when Tony Beasley was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Also let go were Chris Egelston, a pitching coach for the Arizona rookies; Damon Mashore, the base-running coordinator; Chris Briones, the catching coordinator; and Jeff Case, an athletic trainer in Arizona.

In-house for hitting coach?

The Rangers need a hitting coach after Anthony Iapoce took the same job with the Chicago Cubs earlier this month, but general manager Jon Daniels would not say if Triple A hitting coach Howard Johnson or minor-league outfield coordinator Dwayne Murphy are candidates.

Both have experience as major-league hitting coaches, and Daniels said that the Rangers might have to hire a hitting coach before naming a new manager if a candidate that they like is being sought by another team.

“We are monitoring that market,” Daniels said. ‘If it starts to move, we’ll have to consider interviewing them. Ideally we’d like to wait for the manager.”

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