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Mathis to be Rangers pitching coach, per report

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Evan Grant is reporting that bullpen coach Doug Mathis will be promoted to pitching coach for the Rangers

2020 Texas Rangers Photo Day Photo by David Durochik/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Texas Rangers rumors: Doug Mathis will be promoted to pitching coach from bullpen coach, per Evan Grant this morning. An official announcement will likely not come until next week, due to MLB’s strong preference that teams not make announcements during the World Series, but Evan is indicating the choice has been made.

One of the questions I had when the Rangers let Julio Rangel, who had been the pitching coach for Chris Woodward the past two years, go was whether this was more a decision that Rangel wasn’t working and they had to get someone else, with a wide net being cast to find a replacement, or if this was more about the Rangers having someone particular in mind that they had targeted that they wanted in that role. The fact that Mathis is apparently already the guy suggests it is the latter.

Mathis was drafted and signed by the Texas Rangers out of the University of Missouri in the 13th round in 2005, and worked as a swing man between the majors and minors from 2008-10. After becoming a free agent after 2010, he didn’t pitch in the majors again, but he pitched in the minors for a number of organizations, as well as in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and in Latin America winter leagues.

Mathis was hired as the team’s bullpen coach for 2020, after two years coaching in the Mariners minor league system and spending 2019 as the pitching coach for the AAA affiliate of Toronto Blue Jays. The decision to promote Mathis at this juncture is surprising, but it also would suggest that the Rangel move was made with Mathis as a replacement in mind. It may very well also be that the Rangers feared losing Mathis to a team that would pursue him as a major league pitching coach this offseason.