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Wednesday newsletter time: Josh Jung isn’t injury-prone, Rangers GM says

(AP photo/David Zalubowski)

 

The prognosis for Josh Jung is better than some had feared and definitely better than all the Twitter doctors were thinking.

The third baseman was dispatched to Arizona on Tuesday for surgery on his broken right wrist, an injury suffered Monday night as he was struck by a Phil Maton pitch. Jung will miss six weeks, plus or minus a few days, general manager Chris Young told assembled media at Tropicana Field.

Young also fielded questions about a question many have about Jung: Is he injury-prone?

No, the GM said. Terribly unlucky, possibly the unluckiest player in baseball, but not injury-prone.

“If there were injuries that players could avoid or were self-inflicted, certainly there would be some concern,” Young said. “But with Josh, these have been very just freak injuries that are no fault of his or anybody else’s, and sometimes those happen.”

Four of his five injuries since 2021 have required surgery, starting with a stress fracture in his left foot. He torn his left labrum the next spring and broke his left thumb last season. The non-surgical injury happened in February, when he strained his left calf while taking grounders on his first day in spring training.

Freak or not, injury-prone or not, the trend is disturbing. Jung can’t avoid injury.

The spring calf injury doesn’t count because it didn’t affect games that count, but first two injuries delayed his arrival to the majors and the last two have put the Rangers in a bind.

They survived the first in 2023. Good teams do. The Rangers are a good team. They’ll survive this one, too.

And, with any luck, Jung’s bad luck will run out.

Hitless wonder

Evan Carter has walked six times in five games and scored five runs. He has a .318 on-base percentage, which isn’t great by his standards.

Considering he doesn’t have a hit this season, though, that’s pretty good.

The rookie outfielder is 0 for 15. He’s had some tough luck, which everyone in a long skid has. The walks are a good sign, as he’s not panicking yet. He has excellent speed, so his legs might help him break loose.

But he’s still inexperienced, despite what he did in 2023, and big-league pitchers are good. So are scouts. Young players might linger longer in a slump.

Then again, 0-for-15s aren’t uncommon. If this were June, no one might even notice.

However, slumps are magnified at the very beginning of a season. That might be all this is.

 

Deserved better

Andrew Heaney should have been out of the fifth inning with no harm done and only one Rays run against him Tuesday night. Afterward, he said he that still should have been the case after first baseman Jared Walsh dropped a not-so-routine popup in shallow right field that would have ended the inning.

Heaney didn’t blame Walsh but himself for failing to put the next hitter away after having two strikes on him. Yerry Rodriguez didn’t offer much relief, and Tampa Bay scored four times in the fifth en route to a 5-2 victory.

Walsh, naturally, felt terrible, and Heaney knew that. A pro doesn’t bury the guys who play behind him, and Heaney didn’t.

While Heaney wasn’t pleased with some two-strike damage and some deep counts, manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with the outing. The bats just didn’t have much for Rays right-hander Zack Eflin.

“Our guy threw very well, too,” Bochy said. “Had some tough luck there.”

The Rangers have made it through their rotation one time, and four of the five allowed three earned runs or less. The exception was Jon Gray, who permitted five runs Sunday in the Rangers’ other loss this season.

Nathan Eovaldi returns to the mound today for the first time since Opening Day.

Not a bad guy to have going when trying to win a series.

Doggy video!

So happy he wanted the other dog to smell his butt. 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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