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Monday newsletter time: Rangers back together again for first spring workout

(Texas Rangers/Bailey Orr)

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. ā€”Ā  Pitchers and catchers have been working for five days at Rangers spring training. Today, they will be joined by the rest of the position players for the team’s first full-squad workout as World Series champions.

As much as they say they have put the the first world title in franchise history behind them, these little footnotes keep popping up. This isn’t your father’s first full-squad workout.

Two key players will be missing, shortstop Corey Seager (sports hernia) and third baseman Josh Jung (left calf). They join right-handers Max Scherzer (back), Jacob deGrom (Tommy John surgery), Tyler Mahle (Tommy John) and Rule 5 pick Carson Coleman (Tommy John) on the sidelines.

The Rangers expect Seager and Jung to be ready by Opening Day, however.

Their absence is opportunity for others in camp, namely Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith. However, Davis Wendzel, Jonathan Ornelas and Matt Duffy will also be picking up at third base and shortstop. Justin Foscue might get some reps at third, too, though his focus this spring will be across the diamond.

With everyone here, Rangers pitchers will begin throwing live batting practice. They should get in two rounds of live BP before the first Cactus League game Friday.

With it being Presidents Day, the crowd on the back fields might be a little bigger than normal.

The gang is all here, and the work toward another World Series begins today in earnest.

Fun interview

The Rangers gave David Robertson extra time to get to spring training, and the right-hander was at his locker for the first time Sunday morning at the Surprise Recreation Campus.

His first round with the beat guys was highly entertaining.

A few examples:

Robertson said he was aware of the Rangers’ bullpen woes last season and that, hey, that can happen. As long as a team has around an 85 percent conversion rate, he said, that’s pretty good. When informed that the Rangers were below 50 percent, he said, “Well, that happens, too.”

Interestingly, Robertson has negotiated five of his contracts, including his one-year, $11.5 million deal with the Rangers. That saves him from paying a cut to an agent. “My wife takes 50 percent, though,” he said. “It’s pretty steep.”

He’ll be here all month. Don’t forget to tip your servers.

Scherzer noted Robertson’s sense of humor when describing him as a great teammate. They were together last season with the Mets until both were dealt at the trade deadline. Robertson’s trade to the Marlins was an indicator to Scherzer that the Mets were giving up on the season and possibly planning to not contend in 2024, which convinced him to accept a trade to the Rangers.

Robertson threw some Sunday and went through pitchers fielding practice with the rest of the group. He said last month that he usually has a slower progression in spring training because he doesn’t like to throw off a mound until he arrives in camp, a trick of the trade he learned from Mariano Rivera while with the Yankees.

Robertson, who turns 39 on April 9, is expected to work late in games in high-leverage situations.

Massive development

This might be old news to some, but it is worth repeating here: Globe Life Field is getting a Whataburger

It’s fabulous news from the longtime Rangers sponsor. In fact, I was a little surprised there wasn’t one ready when the ballpark opened for fans in 2021 after the weird COVID-19 season in 2020.

It is not good news for waistlines or cholesterol levels, especially mine. I will have to limit myself to one trip homestand.

The ballpark already has a Golden Chick and a Pluckers. The addition of a Whataburger is similar to Truist Park in Atlanta having a hometown Chick-fil-a and Citi Field in New York having a Shake Shack.

For the record, I’m a No. 5 with no tomatoes.

Welcome, Substack subscribers

Nearly 70 free subscribers have been added at Rangers Today since spring training started, all of them signing up at the old Jeff Wilson’s Texas Rangers Newsletter on Substack. An account for each newbie has been created at Rangers Today.

We transitioned from Substack nearly two years ago. I haven’t shut down it down just in case this website thing becomes too expensive to continue to operate.

Hey, I’m a businessman now.

Anyhoo, if you’re among the new subscribers and seeing this, check your email for the welcome note and a quick request to change your password. This site operates similar to Substack in that most stories are delivered to your inbox. The difference is that Substack doesn’t allow for ads, or didn’t the last time I checked.

So, welcome, new subscribers. If you want every story we write sent to your inbox, get full access here for 20 percent off.

ICYMI …

Busy over the weekend? Me, too. A good busy, by the way. It’s always good when there are baseball stories to be written and for Rangers fans to read. Unlike this newsletter, most of the stories written so far required a paid membership to read in full. Remember: New subscribers can get one here for 20 percent off. Still need convincing? Here’s our latest, in case you missed it.

Marcus Semien, 162-or-bust?

The Sunday Read: Go time for the Fantastic Four

Friday on the Farm: Catching up with Cole Winn

Evan Carter pulling his weight

Josh Jung: Ouch!

Wyatt Langford and defense

Doggy video!

Rejoice! It’s First Full-Squad Workout Day and the kids don’t have school! 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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1 Comment

  1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 20, 2024

    The massive development made me think it was progress on acquiring Cease or Montgomery…

    Reply

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