Monday newsletter time: A fun, busy week ahead at Rangers spring training
(Texas Rangers/Ben Ludeman)
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Here’s how to tell spring break has started without me telling you spring break has started:
The crowds at the Surprise Recreation Campus have swelled the past few days, and many of the fans are too young to see a PG-13 movie.
Families are popping up everywhere in Surprise, and things will stay that way much of the week. And that’s a good thing for a Rangers team that has won 60 and 68 games the past two seasons.
It’s not necessarily a good thing for those trying to get autographs or for the players who would rather not take time to give out autographs, but this is a fun time at Rangers spring training.
Don’t get me wrong: Autographs are available, and my son has lots of proof of that. But patience is a virtue — i.e. don’t ask a pitcher for an autograph while he is actually throwing a bullpen session.
Minor-league camp is up and running, too, and games begin this morning. Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi will be pitching in the Triple A and Double A games against the Royals, with both throwing around 35 pitches.
Minor-leaguers are scheduled to follow. By then the A game will be about to start in the big stadium, which will be pretty crowded.
Keep an eye on …
• The pitch clock. Players, for the most part, have adjusted to it, and it doesn’t take anything away from the on-field product.
• Corey Seager and Marcus Semien had Sunday off, so the middle infielders very well could be back in the lineup today.
• Stick around for the late innings in the stadium, even though the projected regulars will likely be out of the game. Some of the minor-leaguers who aren’t in playing in minor-league camp will likely be backing up in the A game.
• Tuesday is an off day for the entire organization, so go play golf or go for a hike or go to another ballpark. Just be ready for some crowds.
Weekend in review
Plenty happened over the weekend, including an actual Rangers win. Wins and losses don’t matter in spring training, of course, but the Rangers have been in a bit of a funk.
Friday was a perfect example. The Rangers were just having their way with the A’s through seven innings before Oakland scored four runs in the eighth inning against Josh Sborz and then seven in the ninth to win it 12-11 on a walk-off grand slam. Much of the damage was done against Reyes Moronta.
The regulars played really well. The guys fighting to make the team didn’t perform well. It happens often in spring training.
The Rangers played well Saturday, with Cole Ragans again impressing. He allowed a couple runs in his fourth inning, but he knows why it happened and how to fix it. Adolis Garcia and Robbie Grossman homered, and Seager had a second straight two-hit game.
Glenn Otto struggled Sunday, allowing six runs. He hasn’t had a great spring, and Ragans might have overtaken him for a spot in the bullpen to open the season. Dane Dunning pitched well Friday and has gotten stronger each time out.
One of them was likely to make the Opening Day roster as a multi-innings reliever. With Jake Odorizzi (arm fatigue) iffy for the season opener, two spots might be open.
Trip No. 2 of spring training winds down tonight, though the time away from camp this time won’t be nearly as long. It’s been another productive trip, as you’ll soon find out. More stories are in the can, as we like to say in the journalism world, and it’s stuff you’re not going to find anywhere else. Yes, that’s my teaser for you to get full access to Rangers Today for only $5.99 a month, $35 for six months or $60 for a year. More reasons to subscribe are at the links below, in case you missed it.
Friday on the Farm: Who to watch at minor-league camp
The Sunday Read: Evan Carter closing in?
The best kind of pup is a happy pup. Enjoy.
Those bounces.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/x46P07oKu4
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) March 10, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com