Monday newsletter time: These two relievers made the most of their time in big-league camp
(AP photo/Matt York)
Chase Lee and Marc Church were among five players moved out of big-league camp Sunday.
They were relocated to the minor-league side, where they will get ready for their seasons. The Triple A season starts March 31, and Lee will for sure be with Round Rock.
He finished there last season en route to being the Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Year. If his spring is any indication, Lee could be finishing this season with the Rangers.
At the very least he will make his MLB debut. The right-hander impressed all who saw him, and manager Bruce Bochy said Lee’s delivery reminds him of former Giants closer Sergio Romo.
That’s high praise, and Lee was a closer his final year at Alabama. But he doesn’t have that Romo breaking ball, at least not yet, and that’s fine. Lee will be fine with what he has.
Church, on the other hand, has one of the best breaking balls in the organization to go with a fastball that can hit the upper 90s. He has also worked with Nathan Eovaldi on developing a split-fingered fastball.
The one thing Church doesn’t have is experience, though he did well this spring against some of the best hitters he’s ever faced. He finished last season at Double A Frisco.
He’s not far away from his MLB debut, either. Church is eligible for the Rule 5 draft after this season, so adding him to the 40-man roster in-season makes sense if there’s a need for a right-handed power arm and if Church has earned to be in that discussion.
Also moved to minor-league camp were catcher Sam Huff, left-hander Jack Latz and outfielder Elier Hernandez. Huff will be in the majors this season, his final option year. He has to continue biding his time until he is an MLB regular, which he is going to be.
Left-hander Martin Perez should be back in Rangers camp today and will fall in line in the rotation after being gone two weeks for the World Baseball Classic.
His run with Team Venezuela didn’t end well as he surrendered three runs and recorded only one out Saturday against Team USA, which won 9-7. He threw only 16 pitches, but that likely didn’t disrupt his buildup for the regular season.
Perez is a candidate to start for the Rangers on Opening Day, an assignment that could also go to Jacob deGrom.
“We were pulling for him to pitch a good game,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’ll be selfish: I’m glad to have him back with the guys.”
At least Perez is healthy. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will miss up to 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on a thumb that was broken during the game. He was hit by Rockies reliever Daniel Bard, who completely lost the strike zone during Venezuela’s four-run fifth inning that put the U.S. in a 6-5 hole.
Altuve left the game immediately.
The Mets lost closer Edwin Diaz for the season to a knee injury after he was injured in Puerto Rico’s on-field celebration after being the Dominican Republic.
This is the final week of spring training, as the Rangers will pack up and go home Saturday. Rangers Today will be there, though not to help pack. The hope is we all leave Surprise with the roster decisions made so that the exhibition games March 27-28 are free of drama. That probably won’t be the case, but we’ll see. In the meantime, here’s our latest content in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Opening Day roster projection 3.0
Friday on the Farm: Meet Sebastian Walcott
Catching up with Mitch Bratt after WBC experience
Not very good chemistry between the QB and the receiver. Enjoy.
— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) March 19, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
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