How Rangers manager Chris Woodward plans to create culture of strong communication with pitchers – Dallas News

First-year Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward recently sat down with G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] to discuss the upcoming 2019 season. Click here to listen to the full interview with Woodward. 

On having communication with the pitching staff: It’s something I believe where the relationship has to happen. There has to be communication, especially with our starters and our relievers so they know what I’m thinking and what I’m feeling. When I take the ball from the guy — I talked to Lance Lynn about it yesterday — the communication has to be there because you see that breakdown in the trust if you don’t communicate with them. It’s important that they know my style of managing, how we’re going to do this, how we’re going to work through this season. I told them “there will be times where you’re going to hate me when I pull that ball from you. But I’ll let you understand we have to have that communication so I can explain the process and my thoughts.” [The pitcher] doesn’t have to agree with it, but he has to be respectful. We have to have a mutual respect for the decisions that are made.

On where strong pitching can take the Rangers: Pitchers are going to make us successful. I am a firm believer in that. We have a really good offense and talented players. But for this organization moving forward, if our pitching does well, then we’re going to win because our offense is going to score runs. If we can limit the damage on the other side and really excel with some of our arms, we have a chance to be really good. That’s where our success lies: in the pitching.

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On when to make the call to the bullpen: One thing though that I’ve stressed to the starters is that I don’t want to take you out of the game. I want you to drive through. But even if its Mike Minor or Drew Smyly, if they’re having or have had trouble in the past, third time around, the one thing I’m not afraid to do is address these things. From a statistical standpoint, “this is what it’s showing me right in my face. I can’t ignore this. How are we going to fix this? How are we going to get you through the third time around?” And if we don’t see the results, we may have to take you out of the game at that point. I want to let my players understand rather than just pull the ball out of their hand, “this is why we’re pulling the ball out of your hand” if we happen to make that decision. But I think it’s important for the pitchers to know not only why they’re good but where their struggles are. Where do they struggle the third time around? Which of their pitches get hit the third time around? How does their stuff play the third time around? Like is it the mix and we’re exposing too many of your pitches? So, we can address it and hopefully come the third time around, actually have some success.

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