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Friday newsletter time: Rangers might give Dane Dunning some help in Anaheim opener

(AP photo/Reed Hoffmann)


Jacob deGrom’s rotation spot has come up for the first time since he went on the injured list last weekend.

The Rangers needed a starter tonight as they begin a 10-game road trip to the West Coast at Anaheim.

Dane Dunning is going to take the deGrom spot in the rotation and is expected to pitch a lot against the Angels, but the Rangers might turn to an opener for an inning or two to help make things easier on Dunning.

And that’s interesting. Obviously, the idea is to use a reliever who’s doing to get three outs, maybe more, without surrendering any runs. With a few relievers scuffling, the Rangers need all of late-innings relievers for later in the game.

Coincidentally, the Triple A team is on the West Coast and played a day game Thursday.

Dunning has been very good out of the bullpen, a role he hasn’t had since turning pro. Having a healthy hip is also contributing to his 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings.

He will face an Angels team that is coming off a sweep at St. Louis and has, of course, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. Ohtani won’t pitch.

The Angels are planning to start three left-handers — Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers and Jose Suarez. Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez will follow Dunning, in whatever role he’s in tonight.

Expansion talk

More U.S. cities continue to emerge as potential landing spots should MLB decided to expanded from 30 to 32 teams.

The latest is Orlando, and the group there has a $1.7 billion plan in place for a new ballpark. Nearly $1 billion will come from tourist revenue.

Great. But how can Florida support a third team when it can’t support its other two? The best bet for Orlando might be to lure Tampa Bay 90 miles east from St. Petersburg.

Salt Lake City is another metro area with hopes for an expansion team. While not as high in elevation as Denver, MLB doesn’t need Coors Field Jr. Las Vegas, which appears to be a lock to get the A’s, is a very hitter-friendly city, too.

The San Francisco Chronicle floated the notion that Oakland should get an expansion team. There’s no way MLB is going to deal with that city council again.

Nashville, Charlotte and Montreal seem like good locales and are all places I would enjoy visiting for a series. I’m a no on Portland, San Antonio and any international cities that aren’t in Canada.

Card of the Week

It’s always fun when someone comes up through the farm system and has success in the majors.

While the credit for bringing Ezequiel Duran to a major-league organization goes to the Yankees, Rangers pro scouts identified him as someone they needed to have in the Joey Gallo trade.

That deal also included Josh Smith, Glenn Otto and Trevor Hauver, so it’s working out pretty well.

Duran has been one of the Rangers’ hottest hitters the past week, which got me to wondering if I had his first Bowman card.

I don’t.

But this is what one of the variations of it looks like. Durran’s 2020 Bowman Chrome 1st Bowman sparkle refractor is the Card of the Week.

The first time Rangers Today caught up with Duran was at fall instructs in 2021. He was there to play in the Arizona Fall League but was logging at-bats wherever he could get them.

He works as hard as he hits the ball, which of late has been really hard. He had to earn everything after not signing as a 16-year-old, and he only got $10,000 when he did sign.

It’s a very good story that keeps getting better.


Doggy video!

Take a leap this weekend. Enjoy.


Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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  1. Bennie Bullock May 5, 2023

    Bullpen games are never good. They should have starters in AAA to bring up. This is why,, once they signed Heaney, the plan should have been to start Otto, Ragans, and Dunning in AAA.

    1. Monty W May 5, 2023

      Hard to argue against the success they’ve had so far. Calling up Yerry Rodriguez kind of puzzled me. I thought it Cody Bradford might have been called up. Starter to replace a starter. He’s not on the 40 man roster so I guess that’s the reason why he wasn’t called up.

  2. Monty W May 5, 2023

    I could be talked into seeing a Rangers game in Nashville. Charlotte would be ok too.

    1. Jeff Wilson May 6, 2023

      Charlotte is underrated. I haven’t been to Nashville enough, but what I know I like.


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