The Rangers filled the lone opening on their Major League staff, announcing on Thursday that they hired Doug Mathis as the club's bullpen coach.
Mathis replaces Oscar Marin, who on Dec. 16 was named the Pirates' Major League pitching coach.
The 36-year-old Mathis previously completed stints as a Minor League pitching coach in the Seattle and Toronto organizations. He coached the Mariners' Class A affiliate in Clinton in 2017 and '18, and last season, he moved to the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.
Mathis began his coaching career in 2017 after an 11-year professional tenure that began when the Rangers selected him in the 13th round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He spent his entire big league career with Texas, going 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA over 45 games (6 starts) from 2008-10. Mathis also pitched in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Rangers also announced the hiring of Darwin Barney as the manager of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. This will be Barney's first foray into professional coaching after playing eight years in the big leagues. The 2012 National League Gold Glove Award winner at second base, Barney batted .246 over 814 Major League games with the Cubs (2010-14), Dodgers (2014-15) and Blue Jays (2015-17).
A non-roster invitee to Rangers Spring Training in 2018, Barney never signed with another club after being released by Texas on March 19 of that year.
Rangers announce '19 award winners
The team also announced the 2019 team award recipients, selected in balloting by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The winners are:
Player of the Year: IF/OF Danny Santana. In his first season with the Rangers, Santana batted a team-best .283 with 28 home runs and 81 RBIs in 130 games. Santana, who scored 81 runs and stole 21 bases, started games at every infield and outfield position.
Pitcher of the Year: LHP Mike Minor. A first-time American League All-Star, Minor was 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA in 32 starts. He finished among the AL leaders in innings (T4th, 208 1/3), ERA (6th), opponents’ batting average (8th, .244), WHIP (10th, 1.24), and strikeouts (11th, 200).
Rookie of the Year: IF Nick Solak. Acquired from Tampa Bay on July 13, Solak batted .293 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 33 games. He started 32 games after his recall from Nashville on Aug. 20 and posted a team best .884 OPS over the remainder of the season.
Harold McKinney Good Guy Award: OF/DH Shin-Soo Choo. In his sixth season with Texas, Choo batted .265 with 24 home runs and 61 RBIs in 151 games. Choo led the Rangers in games, runs (93), doubles (31), walks (78) and on-base percentage (.371).
Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award: OF Willie Calhoun. The award is presented annually in the memory of longtime Rangers beat writer Richard Durrett to a player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons through hard work. Calhoun batted .269 with 21 homers and 48 RBIs in 83 games. Beginning July 26, Calhoun led the Rangers with 16 homers and 36 runs scored over the rest of the season.
Due to the ongoing construction at both Globe Life Field and Globe Life Park in Arlington, the Rangers will not have a public awards dinner or ceremony in January. All of the 2019 team award winners are expected to attend Comerica Peek at the Park on Saturday, Jan. 25. More information on the free event, which will take place at Texas Live! from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. CT, will be announced later this month.
Ramos signs Minor League deal
The Rangers signed outfielder Henry Ramos to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 27-year-old switch-hitter spent all of 2019 with Triple-A Sacramento in the Giants’ organization, batting .269/.319/.439 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs.
Ramos has a .891 OPS with 19 walks against 13 strikeouts over 31 games for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican Winter League this offseason. Still seeking his first Major League action, Ramos has produced a .275 batting average and .751 OPS over a 10-year pro career in the Red Sox (2010-16), Dodgers (2017-18) and Giants (2019) systems.
Spring Training ticket info
The Surprise Stadium box office will open for walk-up sales for 2020 Texas Rangers individual Spring Training games on Saturday. Season tickets, mini plans and specialty ticket packages for 2020 Spring Training games are available for purchase at texasrangers.com.
The Rangers open the 2020 Cactus League schedule on Friday, Feb. 21, at 1:05 p.m. MT at Surprise Stadium against the Kansas City Royals (Royals are the home team) with Texas’ first home game on Saturday, Feb. 22, vs. the Milwaukee Brewers at 1:05 p.m.