Pettis, who will be entering his seventh season on manager Ron Washington's staff, has been in charge of the Rangers' overall baserunning instruction since he was first hired. Washington said moving Pettis to third base will allow the club to take more advantage of his expertise in that area.
"Our baserunning fell a little bit short this year and Gary has been our main guy," Washington said. "Gary was a very daring baserunner as a player, he was a very instinctive baserunner, and I think he'll help our guys trust their instincts. I trust his instincts on the basepaths, and I know our players will trust him. I think we can use his baserunning instincts better on the other side."
The Rangers, after changing hitting coaches a couple of weeks ago, finally announced on Thursday that their other five coaches are coming back, including Pettis and Anderson.
That also includes Jackie Moore, the Rangers' bench coach who will turn 74 in February and be coming back for his 57th season in professional baseball as a player, coach and manager. This will be Moore's fifth season as Washington's bench coach and his 12th overall as a Rangers coach. He was with the Rangers in 1973-76, '80 and 1993-94.
As the bench coach, Moore is responsible for helping Washington manage all phases of the game.
"Just his experience and the confidence I have in him has been tremendous the past four years," Washington said.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins return for their fifth season. The two work closely together as a team, and since the beginning of 2009, Rangers pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.02, tied for the fifth lowest in the American League over those four years.
Pettis has been on the staff longer than anybody and will continue to be in charge of the outfield defense as well as baserunning. Pettis has never coached third base in the Major Leagues, but Washington said he has done so in the Minor Leagues and Arizona Fall League. Anderson, going into his fifth season, remains in charge of the infield defense.
The Rangers hired Dave Magadan as their hitting coach earlier last month away from the Red Sox. He replaces Scott Coolbaugh, who has been offered another spot in the organization.
The Rangers waited until almost a month after the season to announce that the five other coaches were returning. But Washington said there was no consideration to making any other major changes in the staff other than switching Anderson and Pettis.
"Other than Coolbaugh, there was never any thought of removing anybody else," Washington said. "We've had three successful years and I do feel every one of our coaches make a difference in what we are doing."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.