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Monday newsletter time: Rangers bring baseball back to Arlington

(AP photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

 

Baseball is back at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers will finish off their spring schedule tonight and Tuesday afternoon with exhibition games against the Red Sox.

An off day follows, and then the Rangers will begin defense of their World Series title Thursday night against the Cubs.

The biggest thing remaining for the Rangers is making sure shortstop Corey Seager and third baseman Josh Jung are healthy enough to start the season on the active roster. They also have a decision to make on right-hander Jose Urena.

Decisions on those three will trigger the final shape of the Opening Day roster.

Manager Bruce Bochy said on Saturday that Seager and Jung will play tonight. If they feel good Tuesday morning, they’ll play in both Boston games.

Michael Lorenzen is expected to pitch in one of the two games, an outing will serve as a gauge for his readiness for the regular season. The guess here is he that he makes at least one start at Triple A Round Rock, where the season starts Friday.

Answers are ahead, though they might be on hold until Wednesday.

Baseball at Globe Life Field is ahead tonight.

Duffy opts out

Rangers Today subscriber Jon Heyman, of the New York Post, reported Sunday that infielder Matt Duffy has opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers.

The news comes as no surprise, with Duffy behind at least Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith on the depth chart and possibly behind Jose Barrero.

One report Friday said that Barrero, who is out of minor-league options, was told that he will be on the Opening Day roster. Upon quote tweeting it, I was informed relatively quickly by a source that the initial tweet wasn’t accurate.

Barrero did travel with the Rangers from Arizona. He could make the Opening roster.

The Rangers should have Seager, Jung, Marcus Semien, Jared Walsh and Duran in the infield. If Walsh and Duran end up platooning at first base and with Seager likely to get some games at designated hitter, a sixth infielder makes sense.

The Rangers are going to need a 40-man spot. Designating Barrero for assignment would accomplish that.

Ohtani to speak

Shohei Ohtani, caught in the middle of a gambling scandal involving his former interpreter and a story that continues to change, will talk to reporters today in Los Angeles for the first time since the news broke Wednesday.

The interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired for alleged “massive theft” of $4.5 million. Initially, Mizuhara said that Ohtani paid off his debt to Southern California bookie Mathew Bowyer, but the next day Ohtani’s attorneys said he was the victim of the “massive theft.”

Mizuhara and Bowyer’s attorney said that no bets were taken on baseball, and the attorney said that Bowyer never had contact with Ohtani. The wording is key there.

MLB is investigating, and so is the IRS.

Ohtani’s comments might be only for show. He can very easily say that he can’t comment because of ongoing investigations and go about his business.

Don’t be surprised if that happens.

ICYMI …

The Rangers have returned from Arizona. They have work to do before setting the Opening Day roster. The organization should announce its minor-league rosters over the next 48 hours. The regular season is nigh. Rangers Today will be cranking out ample content, as we have been much of the spring. Here’s our latest, in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Last-minute checklist

Final-day big news

Michael Lorenzen questions

Friday on the Farm: Jack Leiter’s big spring

Wyatt Langford … duh

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Doggy video!

My son at his games Sunday. 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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