The first to go.

After two seasons, Julio Rangel is out as Rangers pitching coach.

The first victim of the Rangers miserable season, other than the fans, is pitching coach Julio Rangel. His contract will not be renewed for 2021.

In his two seasons as the Rangers pitching coach, Texas finished with the fourth worst ERA in baseball in 2020 and the fifth worst ERA in 2019.

Of course, look what he had to work with. Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller, and Edinson Volquez. He wasn’t able to spin the trinkets and trash he was handed into gold. Really, would anybody be able to?

But when a franchise is as bad as the Rangers, someone has to pay the price. The people at the top certainly won’t blame themselves. So let’s blame the pitching coach.

As is the case with fall guys, they get all the blame for the failures and none of the credit for the successes like Lance Lynn, Kyle Cody, or Wes Benjamin.

Tears aren’t being shed for Rangel. He wasn’t here long enough to endear himself. He didn’t squeeze shoulders. But he came with a pedigree. He had worked in the Indians farm system for years before coming to the Rangers. Cleveland is legendary for being a machine at developing great arms. Texas is at the opposite end of the spectrum. 

There can’t be a more thankless job than being the Rangers pitching coach. It’s like getting your culinary degree and ending up working at Taco Bell.

Rangel became the first victim of a franchise in free fall. Right about now, the Rangers hitting coach has got to be going into hiding. 

He’d be well suited to ask for the Witness Protection Program.