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Friday newsletter time: Reading into Rangers’ Thursday roster moves

(AP photo/Ashley Landis)

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Right-handed starters Owen White and Zak Kent were among the four pitchers who were sent to minor-league camp Thursday morning.

Innings are becoming harder to come by in major-league camp, and the Rangers didn’t see White or Kent making the Opening Day roster after not impressing enough this spring. It was time for them to begin getting stretched out, so they were optioned to Triple A Round Rock.

Cole Winn is another right-handed prospect on the 40-man roster, and he hasn’t exactly been perfect. But he remains in big-league camp as the Rangers look at him as a potential bullpen option.

Winn had some success last season coming out of the bullpen at Triple A Round Rock, twice being named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week. The goal was to get him working with more urgency, as he usually entered with the game’s outcome hanging in the balance.

He did well, relative to his performances as a starter.

Winn might not be the strongest candidate, but as the Rangers try to find a the right place for their 2018 first-rounder, it won’t harm anyone if he makes another relief appearance or two in A games.

Left-hander Grant Wolfram, who recorded the final out in the Rangers’ 7-5 victory Thursday over the Dbacks, was also sent to minor-league camp. He was joined by hard-throwing right-hander Emiliano Teodo.

IG check

The Jordan Montgomery pontificating has taken a turn for the worse: People are checking his follows on Instagram.

The free-agent left-hander and one of the Rangers’ postseason heroes no longer follows the world champs on the social-media platform, but he has started to follow the Dodgers.

Well, that settles that.

The Dodgers spend money like they’re printing it, having far surpassed the luxury-tax threshold but creating enough wiggle room to add more after deferring $680 million of the $700 million contract Shohei Ohtani signed.

Buster Olney of ESPN, meanwhile, reportedly said that Montgomery wants to sign with a small market “like Texas, like St. Louis.”

Dallas-Fort Worth is a smaller market than New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia … but that’s it. Smaller, in this instance, would appear to mean quieter or less intrusive.

The Rangers storyline hasn’t changed. They are keeping the door open but don’t expect any additions to the camp roster because they are already over the luxury-tax limit and don’t have a TV contract after this season.

 

 

Card of the Week

I’m not under explicit orders to clean my home work desk, but Mrs. Rangers Today has been making some passive-aggressive remarks for, oh, a year now that it’s quite a mess. And she’s not wrong.

To that end, I started to clear out a couple drawers over the weekend, and deep in one of them was a random baseball card. I have no idea how it got there, and it dates to before he made what many believe to be his most significant impact on the game.

The Card of the Week is Mike Fiers’ 2015 Topps Heritage card.

Fiers was with Milwaukee to start 2015, and he and Carlos Gomez were sent to the Astros at the trade deadline for a package that included a left-hander named Josh Hader.

Fiers was really good for the Astros after the trade, including tossing a no-hitter, but they couldn’t hold off the Rangers for the American League West title.

He was fairly pedestrian for the Astros the next two seasons before signing with the Tigers in 2018 and then getting traded to the A’s.

He was with the A’s for the next three season, throwing another no-hitter that was the 300th in MLB history.

But that’s not why most people remember him.

He was the whistleblower on the Astros’ cheating ways in 2017, their World Series year. He revealed the banging on the trash cans, which led to an MLB investigation and the suspensions (and subsequent firings) of general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

Some see Fiers as a hero, though none of them are Astros fans. Some see the glass half-empty, as he finally got a conscience only after winning the World Series.

Regardless, it still took some onions for him to come forward.

Doggy video!

Racing into the weekend like … . 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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