Thursday Newsletter time: Glenn Otto deserves to stay in Rangers’ rotation, but tough decision looms
(The Associated Press/Tony Gutierrez)
ARLINGTON — Right-hander Jon Gray threw a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon and was put through pitchers fielding practice in what could amount to a final test for him to come off the injured list.
Gray, out with a slight sprain in his left knee, said that he is hoping to start one of the Texas Rangers’ two games next week at Philadelphia.
If that happens, a starting pitcher will have to go to the minors. Glenn Otto is probably the leading candidate, even though he has arguably been the Rangers’ best starting pitcher so far this season.
The right-hander allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday night in a 4-3 loss to Houston Astros. He allowed one run in five innings last week in his 2022 debut.
No Rangers starter has put together back-to-back starts that good, which is troubling. Martin Perez has a chance to do that Thursday afternoon.
Otto has a spot on the 40-man roster and has minor-league options remaining. Those two things are a blessing and a curse for young players. Otto might be cursing next week.
“I thought it was a really cool outing,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He’s done a good job. I thought he battled today.”
Chas McCormick hit Otto’s first pitch for a home run, and the next two hitters reached. Otto then made an adjustment, going to his sinker after the Astros were sitting on his four-seamer.
He allowed only four hits and struck out five.
The Rangers could option right-hander Spencer Howard, who has a 14.40 ERA in five innings this season. They could option lefty Taylor Hearn, who has a 7.41 ERA in 15 2/3 innings. They could put Otto in the bullpen.
It just doesn’t seem like the Rangers are going to do any of those things, as they hope to get longer evaluations of two young starters who they hope develop into quality big-leaguers while also preserving their depth in the minors with Otto.
They hope that Otto becomes a quality big-leaguer, too, and he will likely get another chance. Maybe even soon.
But the Rangers are going to need a roster spot for Gray. Otto doesn’t deserve to lose his, but he’s the leading candidate to do so.
Doctors typically wear white jackets. In golfing circles, a green jacket is worn by swing doctors.
Scottie Scheffler donned his green jacket, the prize for winning the Masters, as he made his way through the Rangers’ clubhouse and dugout Wednesday night before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
He quickly got a feel for which Rangers were the golfers on the team, as they sought out some swing tips.
“Nobody was telling me what they shoot, or anything like that,” Scheffler said.
First baseman Nathaniel Lowe, an avid golfer, caught the first pitch. He asked about the swing that won Scheffler the green jacket, but never bothered to asked about his own.
“I was waiting on a follow-up for something on his game, but he never did,” Scheffler said. “Maybe we’ll get a chance down the road.”
Watch out, Scottie. Lowe will take you up on that.
First things first: The drawing for the last ticket giveaway for Saturday’s game was held Wednesday night. I entered names of paid subscribers who expressed interest into an online randomizer, and, voila, Eric Tooley came out on top of the list. Here’s hoping you have a great time, Eric. The same goes for Jen Mancini, who won two tickets Tuesday by being the first to buy a sixth-month subscription to Rangers Today for the low, low price of $35.
Maybe we’ll do some more of these down the road.
Now, last but not least, here’s the latest from Rangers Today in case you missed it.
T.R.’s Memoirs: Crazy group of closers, Part I
Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel (subscribe and watch for free)
Good luck getting a cat to do this. Enjoy. See you Friday.
Little boy playing fetch with the neighbor’s dog.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/zEqw9V8ZzM
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) April 25, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org