Texas general manager Jon Daniels affirmed his belief in the Rangers' coaching staff on Monday, giving the coaches a vote of confidence even as the team flounders at the bottom of the American League West standings.
The Rangers, 10-5 losers to the New York Yankees at home on Monday night, are now 18-31 on the season and have won just seven of 24 games at Globe Life Park. Texas will get another chance to get on track at home when it hosts the Yankees in the middle contest of a three-game series on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.
The Yankees will send right-hander Domingo German (0-1, 4.26 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday while Texas will counter with left-hander Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48).
Daniels said prior to Monday's game that the coaches aren't to blame for the way he set up the club in the offseason when he opted against chasing big free agent signees while trying to rebuild the Rangers from within.
Texas was also blindsided with injuries over the first month and a half of the season and quickly fell off the pace established by division front-runners Houston and Los Angeles.
"From a coaching staff perspective, what we constantly talk about is just the development of our young players, some of which are going well and some of which are not," Daniels said. "At the end of the day, it's up to the players to go out and execute."
With Yankees first baseman Greg Bird's return to the roster just days away, New York general manager Brian Cashman will have to make a decision soon about keeping Tyler Austin with the big-league club.
It seemed likely that Austin would be sent down to Triple-A Scranton once Bird was ready to rejoin the Yankees, but Austin has made the most of his chances, going 6 for 11 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his three games prior to Monday's win.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Austin's play has been one of the keys to the team's hot start.
"Tyler Austin is an important part of what we're doing right now and obviously another huge day for him to get us going with a couple long ones," Boone said Monday prior to the Yankees' game at Texas. "He's playing great. He's done a great job all year. He's been a part of us winning games and hopefully that continues."
German will make his third start of the season (and eighth appearance) in Tuesday's middle game of the series and will pitch on extended nine days' rest. He did not record a decision in his most recent outing at Oakland on May 12 despite allowing a career-high six earned runs, including five in the fourth inning that that snapped a personal 15-inning scoreless stretch.
German has never faced the Rangers.
Hamels returns to the hill after being scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday at Chicago because of neck stiffness. Tuesday's start will be his 10th of the season.
Hamels has a 1-2 record over his last five starts and has compiled a 2.73 ERA over that span. He made his most recent start on May 11 at Houston, allowing no runs and just one hit in six innings of work and did not allow a runner to reach third base.
Hamels will make his first start against New York since June 29, 2016, a 7-1 Rangers' victory in Arlington. He is 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in four regular-season starts in his career against the Yankees.