GM Daniels expects better from Rangers

GM Daniels expects better from Rangers

HOUSTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is unhappy with the way his team has started the season, and he strongly suggested that more changes could be coming if things don't turn around quickly.

Daniels refused to term his team as heading into what is traditionally known as a "seller" when it comes to the in-season trade approach. But the Rangers' season is starting off similar to 2007, when the team struggled under a new manager.

The Rangers responded to that situation with midseason deals around the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline that included veterans Mark Teixeira, Kenny Lofton and Eric Gagne. Those trades ended up kick-starting the rebuilding program that eventually led to two American League pennants in 2010-11.

"I hope not, we're not close to that point," Daniels said in a conference call on Monday. "This is the first week of May. We have a lot of time before those decisions have to be made. We are not thinking along those lines.

"There are things we have to correct. We're confident we're a better ballclub than this. We're going to take that approach. We expect to be better, and we are going to try and make that happen."

The Rangers entered their three-game series with the Astros with a record of 8-16 that is the worst in the American League. They had the lowest team batting average and the most errors in the AL. Their pitching staff was ninth in the AL with a 4.26 ERA.

"I don't think we have played particularly well," Daniels said. "We have had a few guys play well, but we have had a lack of focus and a lack of execution, and it has cost us.

"We have tried to take a patient approach the first three or four weeks. We still believe in these guys, but there are guys down in Triple-A improving and being recommended, and guys getting ready to come off the disabled list that can help us. We're going to take a critical look at the group of guys up here and see who gives us a chance to win.

"There is a fine line between patience and inaction. This is a results-driven industry. We have to see results."

The Rangers made one change on Monday. Reliever Roman Mendez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock and Spencer Patton was called up. Other moves are possible.

The Rangers are clearly frustrated with Rougned Odor, who went into Monday's game with the Astros hitting .148. But he is just one of eight Rangers on the roster hitting under .200.

"He is a young player we believe is part of the solution and not part of the problem," Daniels said. "He has struggled so far. We are going to give him the opportunity to show improvement, but we're looking for him to make changes."

The Rangers' offensive struggles have put the spotlight on hitting coach Dave Magadan, who is in the final year of his contract.

"I'm never going to evaluate any of our staff, coaches, support staff, front office publicly," Daniels said. "I don't think that is fair. From a staff perspective, myself included, we could all do better."

Daniels did praise the work of manager Jeff Banister.

"I have had a chance to work with Jeff every day for six months," Daniels said. "You can definitely see the development and the experience, how he communicates with the players, the planning with the staff, the pregame work. … I think it has been outstanding.

"He is a competitor. He wants to win. He understands there are going to be some bumps in the road. We are 20-something games into the season, there is a lot of time left. It's time to kick it up a notch, lock it in and get it going."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.