Friday newsletter time: Rangers rested, ready to resume season
(AP photo/Steven Senne)
The last time we saw Jon Gray, he pitched well but was on the wrong end of a Rangers loss last week at Boston.
He wasn’t happy about it after final outing before the All-Star break, frustrated by weak Red Sox contact that ended up beating him.
Gray will open up the recognized second-half of the season tonight against the Guardians, who hit right-handers better than left-handers, but not so much that the Rangers were going to stay away from their second-best starting pitcher in the first half.
By starting Gray tonight and then left-hander Andrew Heaney and Martin Perez on Saturday and Sunday, the Rangers will have three right-handers next week against the Rays. They beat up Heaney and Perez last month.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that the Rangers didn’t plan it that way, as they wanted to make sure Dane Dunning and All-Star Nathan Eovaldi got some extra rest.
Gray will start the finale against Tampa Bay.
Perez hasn’t pitched since July 3, so he will be pitching on 12 days’ rest. The Rangers didn’t want to sit on him much longer, but they also wanted him to get a break after pitching in the World Baseball Classic.
While the Rangers need relief help at the trade deadline, theyneed Heaney and Perez to be better down the stretch.
Bochy didn’t say it in so many words, but the Rangers were tired last week.
He pointed to the July 4 day game at Boston after a nighttime arrival following a day game at Globe Life Field as the trigger for a long and losing six-game road trip that ended at Washington. The Rangers won the day game, but lost 4 of 5 to finish the trip.
“I was worried about that part of the schedule as I looked at it,” Bochy said. “It was a grind of a schedule, but that’s behind us. It’s time for us to get back to being who we are.”
The Rangers have scored in droves and pitched well when playing at their best this season. They sputtered the final three weeks going into the All-Star break but still lead the American League West by two games over the Astros.
Bochy said that the six All-Stars should have enough rest going into the weekend series against Cleveland. None of them was required to be at the Thursday workout at Globe Life Field, but right fielder Adolis Garcia was spotted in the clubhouse.
The Rangers will open the 2024 season at home against the Cubs and finish the season Sept. 29 on the road against the potential Shohei Otani-less Angels. Next season’s schedule was released Thursday by MLB.
The Rangers are also hosting the All-Star Game next season, July 16 at Globe Life Field.
For those who fans of other teams, the Red Sox visit Aug. 2-4, the Yankees come in Sept. 2-4 and the Astros’ two trips to Arlington are scheduled for April 5-8 and Aug. 5-7.
Expect spring training to start just before Valentine’s Day.
Card of the Week
Good buddy Anthony Andro decided it was time to purge his excess baseball cards, donating some 25,000 to Arlington school. He also donated about 4,000 to Henry Wilson.
There are some good names, but not a ton of value. Anthony isn’t stupid. And there are some cards of players neither of us sports-savvy sports journalists had ever heard of.
One, though, stuck out, and it’s the Card of the Week.
It’s the 2013 Bowman Chrome Jairo Beras autograph.
Those of you with good memories will remember Beras not for what he did on the baseball field, which was very little for the money ($4.5 million) he received, but for the uproar his signing caused in February 2012. Beras registered with MLB as a 16-year-old, but, lo and behold, the Rangers unearthed a birth certificate that said he was 17.
Because he was 17, he didn’t count against the cap for 16-year-old international players.
MLB ruled that Beras had filed a false birth certificate and suspended him for a year, but approved the contract. MLB also didn’t say which birth certificate was false. Instead, they let the Rangers assume the risk that Beras might be older.
It turns out he fizzled as s prospect and eventually tried pitching. He hasn’t been in affiliated ball since 2019.
Beras is now 28 … or 27 … and a curious note in the Rangers’ international scouting history.
I don’t know where he’s going, but I’m willing to follow. Also, I hope his junk is all right. Enjoy.
He found the portal to another dimension.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/9eoYNBE25c
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) July 13, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org