The Rangers have fired manager Chris Woodward, as reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. This comes as the Rangers are in the midst of their fourth straight losing season under the 46-year-old.
Texas was expected to turn a corner this year after they invested $500 million into their middle infield of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, but that expected success has not been fulfilled, as the Rangers are 51-63 and 3rd place in the AL West.
Seager got off to a slow start, but he has turned his season around. He boasts an impressive 26 home runs, which is good for 10th in the league and first among shortstops. His xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG are all near the top of the MLB (8th, 8th, and 9th, respectively), along with his 3.8 WAR (27th), which ranks above some notable names, including Carlos Correa, another coveted free agent shortstop that relocated this past off-season. By almost every metric, Seager has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball, especially from a power standpoint. Couple that with his solid fielding, including a 2.5 UZR which is 8th among shortstops, and you’ve got your franchise shortstop.
Despite the success of Seager, the Rangers are in the bottom half of the league in wRC+ while sporting one of the highest strikeout rates in all of baseball. However, where Texas truly falters is their pitching staff. Their team ERA and xFIP of 4.09 are 10th worst in baseball while walking 3.59 batters per 9 innings, higher than all but 4 teams. Martin Perez has been great for Texas with 17 QS, a WAR of 3.4, and a 3.34 FIP, along with Matt Moore. Opponents have an xSLG of .275 against Moore and an xwOBA of .260, which is very impressive. Outside of those 2, it’s been hard to find a bright spot on the Rangers staff. Jon Gray has been disappointing considering the $56 million guaranteed given to him this past off-season.
Woodward is out after roughly 4 seasons with Texas. He was hired to replace Jeff Banister, but he failed to lead the Rangers to the playoffs during his tenure. Texas has not yet named an interim manager for the rest of the season.