The coaches and trainers who will mentor Texas Rangers prospects in 2019 were revealed Tuesday morning with little turnover from last season, but there is one significant addition to the staff at Triple A Nashville.
Former National League Cy Young winner Eric Gagne, who spent 2018 as the pitching coach for the Arizona Rangers rookie club, will serve as the bullpen coach in Nashville. He pitched for the Rangers in 2007 before he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for a package that included outfielder David Murphy.
But Gagne’s most noteworthy coaching tip in 2018 came in the postseason. He told Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel that he was tipping his pitches, and Kimbrel took the advice and ran with it. He pitched in four games in the World Series, saving one, for the eventual champs.
Gagne, who won his Cy Young in 2003, joins a staff that otherwise remains intact, with Jason Wood returning as manager, Brian Shouse as pitching coach and Howard Johnson as hitting coach. The only new manager in the system is Corey Ragsdale, who takes over at High A Down East and will also serve as the minor-league field coordinator.
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The Down East staff has the most significant turnover, with pitching coach Steve Mintz the only holdover. Low A Hickory has a new hitting coach in Jared Goedert, who moves up from Short-Season A Spokane.
The staffs for Spokane, the Arizona Rangers and the Dominican Summer League are still being completed.
2019 Rangers minor-league staffs
Triple A Nashville: Jason Wood, manager; Brian Shouse, pitching coach; Howard Johnson, hitting coach; Geno Petralli, coach; Eric Gagne, bullpen coach; Carlos Olivas, trainer; Al Sandoval, strength coach.
Double A Frisco: Joe Mikulik, manager; Greg Hibbard, pitching coach; Jason Hart, hitting coach; Brad Flanders, coach; Alex Rodriguez, trainer; Wade Lamont, strength coach.
High A Down East: Corey Ragsdale, manager; Steve Mintz, pitching coach; Chase Lambin, hitting coach; Turtle Thomas, coach; Luke Teeters, trainer; Adam Noel, strength coach.
Low A Hickory: Matt Hagen, manager; Jose Jaimes, pitching coach; Jared Goedert, hitting coach; Josh Johnson, coach; Bronson Santillan, trainer.
Coordinators: Corey Ragsdale, field; Danny Clark, pitching; Josue Perez, hitting; Dwayne Murphy, assistant hitting/outfield; Kenny Holmberg, infield; Jono Arnold, roving pitching; Jeff Andrews, special assignment pitching.
Medical: Jason Roberts, administration/research; Sean Fields, Arizona medical; Chris Olson, international medical.