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Thursday newsletter time: Bochy wants Rangers to enjoy unique Opening Day

(AP photo/Julio Cortez)

 

ARLINGTON β€” The march to another World Series begins tonight for the Rangers.

First up are the Cubs at 6:35 p.m. at Globe Life Field. The World Series banner will be raised. Wyatt Langford will get the first test of the MLB career.

The game is sold out. It can be seen on ESPN.

Everything you need to know can be found here.

Bochy wants the players to enjoy the opener. They earned the banner that will be unveiled in right field and the rings they will receive Saturday night. This will be Bochy’s fourth time experiencing an Opening Day after winning a World Series.

“It’s a different Opening Day,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of excitement and hoopla. I just told them to enjoy it, to take it in, soak it in, because they earned it.”

But the players need to be able to compartmentalize their excitement for nine innings. The Cubs are good, and many believe they will win the National League Central. As the Rangers learned last year, every win matters.

“In the back of your minds, you have to keep telling yourselves, ‘We’ve got to be ready,” Bochy said.

The Rangers won last season on Opening Day, which allowed them to make the postseason by … one game.

The rest is history. The chase for more history begins tonight.

Roster thoughts

Every year, without fail, the media sweats over the final few spots on the Opening Day roster, but it’s not like the Rangers aren’t determining the starting shortstop or Opening Day starter.

But the players who get the last spots do matter.

Jose Urena, Yerry Rodriguez and Jacob Latz are going to get big outs this season. Jared Walsh is going to be come up in big situations while filling in at first base for Nathaniel Lowe.

Urena was kept for rotation depth, but he also earned his spot. General manager Chris Young said that Rodriguez, who became a father two days ago, was the team’s best reliever in spring training, and Latz is a second left-hander who can spin it.

Rodriguez and Latz also have minor-league options, and that will come into play when Michael Lorenzen and Jonathan Hernandez are deemed ready to go.

Lorenzen won’t be long. He said he will pitch Saturday at Triple A Round Rock, have another outing next week and then be ready to go. Lorenzen threw 28 pitches of live batting practice Wednesday.

The Rangers wanted to ease him into the season after signing him last week.

“I wanted to come start right away, but I think this is the best way to do it,” he said. “I still have to experience runners on base, changing looks. I still have to execute changeups while doing that as well, and sliders. It makes sense.”

 

ICYMI …

Why should you get full access to Rangers Today? Coverage every day, stories to your email in box, good writing, minor leagues and major leagues, a travel budget and 17 seasons of experience. Plus, T.R. Sullivan. Click this link. It’s that simple. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.

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Fans racing to Opening Day (also, one of pitching coach Mike Maddux’s all-time favorites). 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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