Monday newsletter time: Second time with Rangers much better for Cody Bradford
(AP photo/Nick Wass)
No, the Rangers did not win Sunday as left-hander Cody Bradford made his second career start. They are 0-2 when he’s been on the mound.
This go-round, though, was much better than his MLB debut May 15.
Bradford allowed two runs in the first inning and nothing else in a 3-2 loss to the Orioles. He did not factor into the decision after allowing five hits and a walk and finishing with five strikeouts, a stark contrast from when he allowed six runs in five innings against the lefty-punishing Braves two weeks ago.
He might have been stunned early on Sunday by the outcome with the first batter of the game. Cedric Mullins hit a popup behind second base for what appeared to be an easy out, but shortstop Corey Seager couldn’t find it in the Baltimore sun and allowed it to fall for a hit.
The first four Orioles reached before Bradford record his first out on a sacrifice fly. He then induced an inning-ending double play, and that seemed to set him free.
Bradford was starting for Dane Dunning, who is on the paternity list after the birth of his son. Bradford will go back to Triple A Round Rock once Dunning is required to return Tuesday, assuming the Rangers don’t make a move before today’s series opener at Detroit.
Bradford will be on the first pitcher on the speed dial when the need arises again. As the Rangers experiment with the bullpen, maybe that call comes sooner than later.
Sunday was more like what the Rangers have seen in the minors, and the outing was a step in the right direction.
Mitch Garver’s time at Round Rock on a rehab assignment would seem to be drawing to a close.
The catcher, out since early April with what was called a minor knee sprain, is 5 for 13 with two home runs and four RBIs so far. He has caught twice, covering 11 innings, and spent two games at designated hitter.
Garver’s return could spell the end for Sandy Leon, who is out of options. If he is designated for assignment and clears waivers, he would have the right to reject outright assignment and become a free agent.
If the Rangers didn’t want to keep three catchers out of spring training, it seems unlikely they would do so here. Plus, a Leon DFA would open a 40-man spot for Glenn Otto or Spencer Howard when they are ready to come off the 60-day injured list.
Manager Bruce Bochy has already said that Jonah Heim will continue to be the primary catcher, though Garver figures to catch more than Leon. Garver will also get time at DH.
He had hit two home runs in 19 at-bats before getting injured, both in the same game. Afterward, he said his swing felt as it did in 2018, when he launched 31 homers. He had been subconsciously making alterations to his swing because of pain in his elbow that finally required surgery last summer.
Garver could make the Rangers’ offense even better. Bochy will have his hands full getting everyone at-bats once Garver and Ezequiel Duran (oblique) return from the IL.
The Rangers play another day game today at Detroit. The Wilsons will be grilling up some burgers and dogs and hitting the pool with Rangers baseball on the tube. A Nathan Eovaldi start is must-see event, and if all goes well he will cement his case to be American League Pitcher of the Month. In my humble opinion, Rangers Today is a must-subscribe website for Rangers fans. Here’s some of our latest content, in case you missed it.
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