Taking a deep breath after their game seven loss in the World Series, the Texas Rangers are moving forward with plans to upgrade their pitching staff over the offseason. Though the Texas major league ballclub had their most successful season yet, winning 96 regular season games and extending the World Series to seven games against the St. Louis Cardinals, the missing link for the Texas team is still pitching.
Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan, who owns a large portion of the Texas Rangers, established early in his tenure the priority of pitching. Hiring Mike Maddux in 2008 as the pitching coach, Ryan brought in someone with pitching credentials and a personal demeanor that helped the Rangers’ young pitching staff to have success. Old school pitchers Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes quietly made an impact as well, having pitched in the major leagues for the past couple of decades.
As Maddux has received permission to respond to management job interviews with the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox, two of the most storied franchises in Major League Baseball history, Rangers fans realize that Maddux may not be back in the Texas dugout next season. What he will leave behind, should the opportunity be presented to take a manager’s job with another club, is a stable of excellent young pitchers who now have two years of World Series experience under their belts.
Still, however, Ryan and general manager, Jon Daniels, are not satisfied. The Rangers are thought to be pursuing their interest in Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, who is said to be a “pitcher with a million pitches.” He is 25 years old, and given the right kind of coaching, that will help him narrow down his repertoire to face big league batters successfully, Darvish is thought to be readying himself for Major League Baseball.