Rangers notes: Jon Gray throws live BP as club mulls his ALCS status
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
HOUSTON — Rosters from both teams in the American League Championship Series at due at 10 a.m. Sunday, and the Rangers were working into Saturday night trying to decide the 26 players who would be on theirs.
The two players whose fate was pending were right-handers Max Scherzer and Jon Gray, both on the injured list with late-season strains. Scherzer (shoulder) appears to be a lock after throwing a simulated game Wednesday and a bullpen Friday, when he declared himself good to go.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that Gray, though, was not a sure thing. He threw live batting practice Saturday after the Rangers’ workout at Minute Maid Park, facing Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim.
If Gray (lower forearm) does end up on the roster, he would be a reliever. Scherzer would be a starter.
“He’s a guy that is kind of on the fence, to be honest,” Bochy said. “But he’s feeling good today. We’ll talk to him after he throws.”
Scherzer won’t be starting until the series heads to Globe Life Field. The Rangers announced Friday that left-hander Jordan Montgomery will start Sunday in Game 1 (7:15 p.m.), and Bochy said Saturday that right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will start Monday in Game 2.
Semien was not with the Rangers for their workouts Thursday and Friday but with good reason: He and wife Tarah welcomed their fourth child, and first girl, into the world.
Amelie Carol Anne Semien was born Thursday afternoon after labor was induced so that Semien wouldn’t have to risk missing any ALCS games. Amelie was due Oct. 21.
The decision to induce was made Tuesday night after the Rangers finished off a sweep in the division series.
“Once we won that game, I saw my family, hugged them, and Tarah said, ‘We’re going to induce,'” Semien said.
Semien said the past few weeks, starting with the Rangers’ season-ending West Coast road trip, were nerve-racking on and off the field. He said that he didn’t sleep much Wednesday and Thursday, but slept like a rock Friday night after accompanying the team on the flight to Houston.
The family stayed behind, obviously, but Semien left knowing that Mom and baby are healthy. He and Tarah knew the possibility of this happening is something they signed up for.
“It’s tough I can’t be there, but Tarah’s a competitor,” Semien said. “She’s ready for me to have a big series and get this win.”
He took live batting practice after the Saturday workout, though the Rangers have no concerns about him not being in game shape for the series opener.
Bochy’s continues to live up to the reputation he brought to the Rangers as an excellent postseason manager.
Only two others in MLB history have a higher winning percentage in the playoffs than his .598 — Joe McCarthy (.698) and Sparky Anderson (.618). McCarthy and Anderson are in the Hall of Fame, as are No. 4 Joe Torre (.592) and No. 5 Casey Stengel (.587).
Bochy has won 13 of the past 14 postseason series his teams have played, and he is the seventh different manager to reach a championship series with three other teams. He would be the first manager to reach a World Series with three different teams.
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com