Friday Newsletter time: Texas Rangers’ pitchers for spring opener might shed light on where Jack Leiter starts career
The Rangers open their 18-game Cactus League schedule today against the Royals, and they are sending some of their more advanced pitching prospects to the mound.
First up is left-hander Jake Latz, the only starter and just one of three minor-league pitchers in big-league camp on an internal invite. He made his MLB debut in August as a spot starter while the Rangers dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Another young lefty, Baylor great Cody Bradford, will follow, and right-hander Jack Leiter will follow Bradford.
For those who like read into things …
Bradford and Leiter have been throwing on Fridays. The Double A, High A and Low A seasons begin April 8, which is a Friday.
They can’t both start for Double A Frisco, where Bradford finished 2021 while Leiter was shut down and taking college courses at Vanderbilt after being selected No. 2 overall in the July draft.
It could be that Leiter will start his first professional season at High A Hickory.
That’s not a big leap to take three weeks away from Opening Day. Then again, the Rangers could just bump Leiter to Saturday at Frisco.
This Friday thing, though, is something to be mindful of as the end of camp nears.
Right-handed relievers Matt Bush, Daniel Robert and Jesus Tinoco are also scheduled to pitch in the spring lid-lifter.
Promotion calendar is out
One of the offseason moments fans eagerly await has arrived.
The Rangers 2022 promotions schedule is out.
The Rangers have scheduled 31 giveaway nights, including 11 bobbleheads.
Seven of those (Jim Sundberg, April 30; Nolan Ryan, June 25; Ivan Rodriguez, Aug. 6; Michael Young, Aug. 13; Adrian Beltre, Aug. 27; Juan Gonzalez, Sept. 24; and a mystery, Sept. 25) will commemorate the Rangers’ 50th anniversary season.
Charley Pride is up first, April 15. Adolis Garcia (June 13), Corey Seager (July 9) and Marcus Semien (July 15) and also have bobblehead nights on the schedule.
There is also a 50th anniversary Mt. Crushmore statue available July 8 and a Nolan Ryan pitching rubber May 1, the same day as the showing of the Facing Nolan documentary.
Visits texasrangers.com for a full list for the giveaways.
Also, don’t forget that Rangers individual tickets for every home game except the April 11 opener are available beginning at 10 a.m. today.
Card of the Week
Big-league spring training is under way, which means another task has landed on manager Chris Woodward’s to-do list: meet each day with the media.
He will do so around 350 times this season, including twice a day during the regular season. All MLB managers will top 300, and they would probably all rather be doing something else.
But Woodward seems to somewhat enjoy the task, or at least he’s comfortable doing it. He’s honest and provides good quotes for our stories.
As a token of the Rangers Newsletter’s appreciation, Woodward’s 1999 Fleer Tradition Update rookie is this week’s Card of the Week.
Find something fun to do this weekend. Enjoy. See you Monday.