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Tuesday newsletter time: Josh Jung-Nate Lowe switch a timely tweak for Rangers

(AP photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


Bruce Bochy turned in a different lineup Monday night for the Rangers’ series opener at Chicago.

For the first this season Nate Lowe was batting fifth.

The manager moved Josh Jung to the No. 3 hole, where Lowe had been for all 70 of his games. The reason was simple: The White Sox started a left-handed pitcher and the matchup favored the righty-hitting Jung.

It paid off, too.

Jung swatted a home run in the third inning and collected two more hits as the Rangers won their third straight game, 5-2. Andrew Heaney allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings, and Josh Sborz recorded two outs in the eighth inning with the bases loaded to keep the Rangers in front.

The Rangers are coming out of a swoon in which they lost 7 of 9 games, but their lead in the American League West has actually increased by a half-game. The second-place team is different, with the Angels five games back and the Astros 6 1/2 back in third.

The Rangers are scheduled to face 2022 Cy Young runner-up Dylan Cease, a right-hander, tonight. Nathan Eovaldi is the Rangers’ probable pitcher.

The lefty-hitting Lowe could find himself back in the third spot in the lineup, and Jung could drop to fifth. Jung, though, looked good there, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes over that spot this season or next.

In the building

As the White Sox attempted to mount a rally in the ninth inning against Will Smith, Elvis Andrus was right in the middle of it.

The former Rangers All-Star and potential future member of the Rangers Hall of Fame singled to give the White Sox runners at first and second with no outs. Smith retired the next three batters, who all represented the potential tying run.

Andrus collected two hits, which upped his average to only .202 in his 15th big-league season. He was re-signed by Chicago to play second base but was the shortstop Monday.

During the broadcast, Dave Raymond and C.J. Nitkowski mentioned that Keynan Middleton was a member of the White Sox bullpen, the same pitcher who hit Andrus early in the 2018 season and broke his right forearm.

An argument could be made that Andrus hasn’t been the same since missing nearly three months that season. He was coming off the best campaign of his career, having finally tapped into some power with a career-high 20 home runs.

The Rangers traded Andrus in February 2021 to the A’s for Khris Davis, pitching prospect Dane Acker and a young catcher named Johan Heim.

That trade has worked out for the Rangers.

Happier place

Jacob deGrom was emotional earlier this month after it was announced that he would undergo Tommy John surgery. Who could blame him?

No baseball player wants to have surgery, especially one that will keep him out up to 15 months.

The operation was performed last week. The only thing deGrom can do now is get healthy. It’s not going to happen quickly, but now that he has a plan in front of him, he’s seems much more at ease.

He isn’t traveling with the Rangers so that he can do his rehab, but he’s planning to be at home games whenever possible. Being around his teammates is therapeutic, and so is having his family back with him after his wife and newborn son, Nolan, we cleared for travel following his birth June 1.

By the way, the deGroms had settled on Nolan before he joined the Rangers, but they did wonder if it was too much to give him the same name as the Hall of Fame pitcher (yes, it’s true that Nolan is Nolan Ryan’s first name is Lynn).

Doggy video!

Eating alone isn’t any fun. 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. A Stephens June 20, 2023

    Going to throw this out there, you tell me your thoughts, maybe TR could check in as well. Josh Jung reminds me more and more of a young George Brett. I know. Don’t want to jinx the kid but man, that’s just what I see when I watch him play the game.

    1. Jeff Wilson June 20, 2023

      I’ll run it past T.R. I’m sure he has some thoughts. Brett was such a good hitter. Jung plays with a lot of intensity, as Brett did.

      1. Jeff Wilson June 21, 2023

        From T.R.:

        People love “comps”

        They make me shudder. I used them early in my career, and it didn’t go well.

        Brett is one of the five best third basemen in baseball history. He also had a unique style. Fiery and intense, but with a true love for the game.

        There is a lot to emulate there. Certainly Jung comes off as a kid who loves to play baseball, is intense and very good at it. He has a chance to be one of the best.

        Brett kept it up for two decades. How is Anthony Rendon doing? Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Donaldson?

        That’s why Brett is a Hall of Famer.

  2. Charles Neeley June 20, 2023

    Well tonight, poor Josh, gets 0-1 on a ball 4-5 inches outside with runners on 2nd and 3rd no outs. Later Semian got similar treatment. Last year, home plate umpire Alex Tosi (also in Chicago) really proved to all why the electronic strike zone is absolutely essential. Tonight, we get the replay office in NY involved. Why is it, the Rangers play only 3 games a year at CWS park and every time at least one has umpire “controversy”? Some may say controversy, but I am more in the “fixed game” camp.

    1. Charles Neeley June 20, 2023

      I meant one out not none.

    2. Jeff Wilson June 20, 2023

      Al Capone was a big baseball fan, right?


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