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The Sunday Read: New-look Rangers are thinking playoffs as spring training beckons

(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)



Spring training was different last year, and not just because the lockout shortened it.

The Rangers had spent some serious money. They said they were going to be better on the field. They picked up the option year on the manager’s contract.

As it turned out, they didn’t spend enough. They were better, marginally. The option year for Chris Woodward became a severance package. Things were so bad that the Jon Daniels era ended in August two days after the Woodward era.

Spring training is going to be different again this year. Pitchers and catchers work out for the first time Tuesday, with:

A new manager, three-time world champion Bruce Bochy.

A new pitching coach, postseason regular Mike Maddux.

General manager Chris Young atop baseball operations.

Three new starting pitchers, including arguably the best there is.

Renewed optimism that the 2023 Texas Rangers can be a contender.


“I don’t like losing,” Young said. “I know our players don’t. I know our manager didn’t come out of retirement to lose.”

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 Comment

  1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 12, 2023

    I don’t get the fact that Tavares is a regular and Thompson isn’t. Thompson has elite speed and baserunning skills, while Tavares only has speed. Both can play decent defense, but Bubba’s speed should make him a regular with the 2 pickoffs rule. Every single turns into a double. Even if he hits .250, that slugging percentage is effectively higher (though not statistically reflected). I love that someone else finally mentioned that pitchers were treating 0-2 counts the same way as 3-0 counts. Pitchers (particularly Perez) were throwing 0-2 pitches down the middle of the plate and expecting success, while guys like Otto were throwing 3-0 pitches like the count was 0-2. Common sense and situational awareness is very important. I also remember Kole Calhoun whiffing away on 3-0 and chasing ball 4 so many times. A real manager can teach these guys to play properly. I don’t get the decision to let Chafin play for virtually free with the DIamonbacks. I also don’t see how having a dozen top middle infield prospects will help left field, but I’d be glad if Foscue can make the team in left field. Still, this disproportional stinginess with prospects and decision to set money on fire on guys like Semien, Gray, and somewhat Eovaldi just don’t add up. They have little budget room, and they are awful with developing prospects, so it’s inexcusable how the front office is not trying to get even a decent guy like McCarthy, Thomas, Gurriel, etc. via trade.


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