ARLINGTON, Texas – Among the numerous offseason decisions for GM Jon Daniels is what the future holds for highly-regarded pitching coach Mike Maddux.
Maddux’s contract expires at the end of the 2014 season, and he most likely will get an interview with another club as a manager or pitching coach. Houston is a strong possibility, given Maddux’s ties to former Rangers team president Nolan Ryan, who is now an executive adviser for the Astros.
Of course, Maddux will interview for the managerial job with the Rangers, as well.
“Mike has done a very good job,” Daniels said. “It’s a unique spot. We’ve got some coaches -- not just Mike -- whose contracts are up at the end of the month, and I want to give them every courtesy and heads-up to where they stand before too much time passes. But at the same time, that’s a decision the manager needs to be involved with. It’s another reason we like to get this resolved sooner rather than later.”
Daniels said he would like to hire a manager by the end of October so the new manager, whether it's Tim Bogar or somebody else, can put together his staff.
Fielder swinging a bat: In a good sign, injured slugger Prince Fielder (neck surgery) is swinging a bat again. Fielder, who has played in just 42 games this season, is on target to be ready for spring training in February.
“He’s been back here last couple of days doing his workout with [strength and conditioning coach] Jose Vazquez and started back on a lifting and baseball program,” Daniels said. “Before that it had been a range of motion and rehab stuff, and he’s now getting back into a more of a traditional workout.”
Martinez picks Maddux's brain: During the latest road trip, Nick Martinez, who earned the win against Houston on Tuesday, spoke to newly-minted Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux throughout the Rangers' entire game against the Los Angeles Angels. Martinez didn't pitch that series, but he wanted to pick Maddux's brain.
"Shame on me if I don't talk to him," Martinez said of the chat.
Maddux, a special assistant to the GM, wanted Martinez to stop rushing to throw his fastball, which is his best pitch, early in the count. If Martinez just worked the count more by mixing his pitching and throwing strikes, Maddux said, his pitch count can be handled better, and when he's ahead of hitters, he can throw a fastball.
He did that against the Astros on Tuesday, when he went 6 2/3 innings and struck out five while throwing 101 pitches.
"I think I was pressing a little bit to get quick outs," Martinez said. "That's where those long innings come from so early, and they mount up. This time I attacked people and threw strikes and relied on my fastball with two strikes."