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Rangers' Pitching Coach Candidate Has Strong Texas Ties

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    HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 13: Lucas Harrell #64 of the Houston Astros talks with pitching coach Doug Brocail #26 during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on September 13, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

    From Rougned Odor to Shawn Tolleson to Delino DeShields, the Rangers found a lot of players in 2015. Looking toward 2016, they suddenly need a lot of coaches.

    With the departures of Dave Magadan and Mike Maddux, they have holes to fill in their hitting, bullpen and pitching coach vacancies. The latter might have a short drive, as MLB.com is reporting that former Astros’ pitching coach and ex-Ranger Doug Brocail has emerged as a leading candidate.

    Maddux left last week after seven years in the Rangers’ dugout after a cumbersome process in which contract negotiations stalled and he was first allowed to test the waters before being told the team would replace him. Brocail told the website that he has already interviewed for Texas’ opening.

    “I’ve watched (manager Jeff Banister) his whole career,” Brocail told MLB.com. “He was in Pittsburgh when I was still playing and coaching. We played against each other in the Minor Leagues, and he's a guy that seems to know what he's doing. I know the players up there love him, and he's always had the respect of everyone in the big leagues.”

    Along with Brocail, the Rangers have interviewed internal minor-league candidates Danny Clark, Jeff Andrews and Brad Holman. But Brocail appears to be the front-runner.

    Brocail, 47, pitched for the Rangers in 2004-05 and is a long-time acquaintance of Banister, have lived in Houston and worked with the Astros as their pitching coach 2011-13. He spent last season as the pitching coach for the Astros’ Double-A Corpus Christi team that was second in the Texas League with a 3.61 ERA.

    Brocail has the pedigree and the connections that make sense for the gig. It’s just going to be strange watching anyone other than Maddux make strolls to the Rangers’ mound next season.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.