Monday Newsletter time: Countdown to season opener is under three weeks. Texas Rangers roster hopefuls are on the clock
With all that has happened with free agency and trades, the most amazing thing about this Texas Rangers spring training is that there is less than three weeks until the April 8 season opener.
The Rangers, and the other 29 MLB teams, have significant roster decisions to make, and the players competing for the final roster spots don’t have a ton of time left to make an impression.
With the Rangers, though, what happens on the field in spring training won’t dictate their decision-making. If it did, Ronald Guzman would have been the Opening Day first baseman last season.
It appears that the Rangers have some platoons they are mulling, which would put a crimp on the roster. They have multiple veteran relievers in camp on minor-league deals who have some notches on their belts.
A veteran who fits the culture might have a better chance than a young player with options who could use a little more time in the minors.
But the Rangers don’t have a ton of space on the 40-man roster. They have one additional candidate for the 60-day injured list, reliever Jose Leclerc, after Jonathan Hernandez was placed on the 60 to create a spot for reliever Garrett Richards.
MLB is still mulling if rosters will be expanded by two to 28 for the first few weeks of the season to off-set the shortened spring. The Rangers open at Toronto, and it’s possible they would have some unvaccinated players who can’t get into Canada.
Sorting out the roster isn’t going to be easy, it usually isn’t, and now there’s a time crunch in play.
The clock is ticking. Loudly.
Off day … kind of
There was no rest for the well-rested Sunday, a scheduled off day from Cactus League play. The Rangers put together an intrasquad game, as pitchers needed work, and some key hitters got in some wings.
Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Kole Calhoun, Nathaniel Lowe and Leody Taveras were among those who were in the lineup. Calhoun connected for a home run, Seager doubled and Taveras collected two hits.
The Rangers are back at it today with a road game at Goodyear Ballpark against the Cleveland Guardians (it’s strange typing that one).
Left-hander Taylor Hearn is scheduled to start for the Rangers, and right-hander Kohei Arihara is also among the probable pitchers. Arihara has a real chance at making the Opening Day roster.
The Newsletter makes its triumphant return to Rangers camp today after a week covering TCU’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament. That doesn’t mean we didn’t produce any Rangers content. We did, lots of it, and the highlights are here in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Things never really added up
Friday on the Farm: Blaine Crim, hit machine
T.R.’s Memoirs: Lighter side of past springs
Stampede! Enjoy. See you Tuesday.