Three up, three down from Texas Rangers’ lost weekend against the Angels
(AP photo Richard W. Rodriguez)
ARLINGTON — Corey Seager was out of the Texas Rangers’ lineup Sunday, which raised some red flags in the morning media session with manager Chris Woodward.
Seager, for those who remember, landed awkwardly Friday night on first base while trying to avoid a collision at the bag. He played Saturday.
The last thing these Rangers need is for their $325 million man to miss time, and avoiding that is what was behind Seager sitting in the series finale against the Rangers.
He and Woodward decided that an day off, followed by the Rangers’ off day Monday, would clear up what Woodward said is general soreness.
“Corey’s been really honest,” Woodward said. “We both talked after yesterday’s game. He was a little sore during the game, and we were like, let’s do the right thing here and get him off his feet. We have to be able to do that to keep him healthy.”
Seager, who has had injury problems in the past and is big for shortstop, will be getting days off throughout the season.
Marcus Semien moved from second base to shortstop, the position where he developed into a Gold Glove finalist in Oakland after some trying times there early in his career. He has also played 162 games the past two 162-game seasons, but Woodward said that is unlikely to happen this season.
Semien has played all nine games so far this season and wanted to play over the weekend as his bat starts to come around. He isn’t collecting hits, but many of his outs have come on hard-hit balls.
“I’ve made a living off of hitting the fastball very well,” Semien said. “I don’t feel like I’m doing that right now and that’s creating some problems for me. It’s something I’ll continue to work on. I know when it gets right, it’s going to be good.”
Seager not being hurt and Semien improving at the plate are positives for a team short on them 10 days into the 2022 season.
Here’s three up, three down from an 8-3 loss to the Angels and a third straight loss to close out the four-game series.
Nick Solak: Solak isn’t necessarily on the brink of getting more playing time, but at the very least he’s making the most of his opportunities in a part-time role.
He collected two hits Sunday, pushing his average to .316 (6-for-19). He has two hits in three of his six games.
Solak has also played well in left field in a platoon with Brad Miller, who is dealing with a stiff back.
Brett Martin: While left-hander John King had another nice outing (1 1/3 scoreless innings), the left-handed Martin had his best outing of the season.
He inherited a mess from Nick Snyder and minimized the damage by retiring three straight. Two of the three runners he faced, but not because he was getting hit all over the ballpark.
The contact was so soft on consecutive grounders to second that the Rangers couldn’t turn a double play.
Rangers’ children: Well before first pitch, right field was a sea of Easter eggs for players’ children to hunt down. The initial thinking was it would take 20 minutes for all the eggs to get scooped up. Try three, and it’s not like this Rangers team is filled with older guys with families. Impressive work by those kids.
Bullpen: The Rangers wanted two extra relievers this month with expanded rosters because they weren’t going to let the starters go long in games after a short spring buildup. Ineffectiveness has made those outings even shorter.
It was a short buildup for relievers, too, and it has shown.
They haven’t been sharp, struggling with command. While they have probably caught up on their lack of spring innings and appearances, their confidence might need to be built back up.
The Rangers have dipped into Triple A Round Rock multiple times for various ailments. Someone will have to go Tuesday when Jon Gray is reinstated from the injured list. Another stretch of short starts could lead to a revolving door between Triple A and the big-league club.
Defense: A struggling pitching staff needs every out it can get, so errors only lead to more pitches and more mistakes.
The Rangers committed three errors Sunday. Only one run was unearned, technically speaking, but the errors had a cumulative effect.
One thing the fielders can’t defend is walks, and Rangers pitchers issued seven of them. Martin Perez said the leadoff walk in the Angels’ three-run third was the difference in the game.
Lineup: Woodward wasn’t happy with some of the at-bats he saw after the Rangers closed to within 4-3 in the third. Hitters weren’t patient enough, tried to do too much, or both.
Woodward pointed to the Angels, who were 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They managed to find holes by hitting the ball the other way and by not trying to do too much. After hitting nine home runs in the first three games of the series, the Angels didn’t hit one Sunday.
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com