Wakamatsu, Warthen join Rangers' staff

Wakamatsu, Warthen join Rangers' staff

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added significant experience to their coaching staff by hiring Don Wakamatsu as bench coach and Dan Warthen as assistant pitching coach.

Steve Buechele, who had been the bench coach for the past two years, has been reassigned as the first-base coach. The Rangers also officially announced Colby Lewis has rejoined the organization as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.

Wakamatsu was the Royals' bench coach the past four years, including in 2015 when they won the World Series. Warthen has been the Mets' pitching coach for the past 10 years, including in 2015 when they lost to the Royals in the World Series.

"We added two Major League coaches with a wealth of experience," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They've got skins on the wall and trophies on their fingers. These guys have come highly recommended and have had success."

Wakamatsu was with the Rangers as bench coach under Buck Showalter in 2003-06 and was third-base coach for Ron Washington in '07. He managed the Mariners in 2009-10 and was the bench coach in Toronto in 2011-12.

Wakamatsu and Warthen were not rehired by the Royals or Mets this winter. The Rangers moved quickly to hire both.

"We did not set out this winter to change our bench coach," Daniels said. "We did not talk to any other bench candidates. If this one candidate had not come available, we would have not gone down this path."

Warthen will work with pitching coach Doug Brocail, and both will be on the bench during the game with Hector Ortiz serving as the bullpen coach. Warthen has 16 years of Major League pitching-coach experience including with the Mariners in 1992, the Padres in 1996-97 and the Tigers in 1999-2002. Brocail was a reliever with the Tigers in 1999-2000.

"This is a guy who has had a relationship with Brocail," Banister said. "They complement each other in how we can best serve our pitching staff and be one of the best pitching staffs in baseball."

Rangers beat
• Lewis will work primarily with the Rangers' Minor League pitchers. He last pitched for the Rangers in 2016 and was not in baseball this past season.

• Catcher A.J. Jimenez cleared waivers and became a free agent. He has been offered an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock.

• Pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez and infielder Hanser Alberto have been activated off the 60-man disabled list and added to the 40-man roster. Gonzalez is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected to pitch next season.

• Ross Fenstermaker has been promoted to director of pro scouting. He has spent eight seasons with the Rangers in pro and international scouting.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.