2020 continues to get the best of everyone, with the latest victim being Elvis Andrus being replaced by Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
The Rangers also signed new General Manager Chris Young to the staff.
With changes starting to happen within the team, it almost seems like Chris Woodward is sitting in the hot seat going into 2021.
Over his first two seasons with the Rangers, he has a 100-122 record, good for a .450 winning percentage. And on the 3rd year of his contract, he signed in 2018, he’s staring down the barrel of a critical 2021 season for him. He has an option for 2022, but the Rangers will need to decide which route they want to go with Woodward beyond 2021, if at all.
Starting with 2020, this team believed it had a legit chance to compete for the division with the offseason pitching acquisitions of Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles. All three pitchers were brought in to bolster a rotation that included Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, with Minor since being traded.
Injuries were the early culprit to the Ranger’s downfall this season, as Corey Kluber lasted just 1 inning pitched for his new team before succumbing to yet another arm injury that ended his season. Willie Calhoun also suffered a gruesome injury, breaking his jaw at-bat during a good spring training season for him, setting him back a bit. Then Elvis had the back strain that kept him out most of the season, forcing the Rangers to utilize other players like Isiah Kiner-Falefa in different positions.
Although injuries happen to every team, it’s the head coach’s job to find the best in his players, and he may have done just that with 2020 Gold Glove winners Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Joey Gallo. Even with those two highlighting 2020, the team’s winning percentage (.367) was the worst since 1985, when they lost 99 of 161 games that season (.385).
This season meant a lot for the youth of the organization, however. The Rangers called up different players to test the waters in a lost season. Leody Taveras and Nick Solak were two of the bigger benefactors alongside Shertan Apostle, Anderson Tejeda toward the end of the season. Now the goal is to continue the growth into 2021. Players like Solak and Taveras will likely be on the 40 man roster by the time spring rolls around, and the Rangers will hope they continue to get better with more time in the majors.
Now if Woodward takes this team to a .500 level, he should be safe from any surprise meetings from Jon Daniels and new GM Chris Young. But anything less of what happened this season could turn the situation sour if this team can’t get to the next level.
The team trusts Chris Woodward, so let’s see if 2021 can be kinder than 2020 for the Ranger skipper.
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