Chris loves Jeff.

Jeff Mathis’s first season with the Rangers is just about over. Not just because the Rangers have just eleven games left. But because he is injured and might miss most of those eleven.

As bad as his season was, and it was bad, T.R. Sullivan writes on that Rangers manager Chris Woodward will fight hard to make sure he comes back next season. 

“I would definitely speak up if they were thinking about not bringing him back,” Woodward said Sunday morning. “If they were considering that, I would be against that, because of what he means to that clubhouse is a lot.”

Mathis is under contract for $3 million.

His offense is deplorable. His defense this season was just as bad. His WAR both offensively and defensively are below zero. By no statistical measures is his performance on the field even close to acceptable. But apparently there’s more than that.

It’s his clubhouse presence that Woodward champions. “When he walks into the clubhouse, everybody loves him.”

Woodward writes off this season by Mathis as just “one of those years where he didn’t get it going” offensively. He is batting .158 with an OPS of .433. That’s not that far from his career numbers of .195/.552. This is who he is, not some fluke. 

The stats don’t back up a legacy of winning. He started 77 games this season. The Rangers are 37-40 in those games. They’re 37-37 in games he didn’t start. Texas is ranked twenty-two out of thirty in team ERA. 

Woodward said, “He provides a lot for us.” 

Maybe he brings cupcakes.