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Thursday newsletter time: Rangers will open spring training on …

(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)

 

 

The date that makes so many Rangers fans happy was announced Wednesday afternoon:

Pitchers and catchers will have their first workout of spring training Feb. 14.

The initial full-squad workout will follow Feb. 19, and the first game is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Make plans now.

The Rangers will head to spring training as reigning World Series champions for the first time, and with that could come a lighter workload for, well, everyone. The Rangers played an extra month en route to their first world title and have a month less to recover from the grind.

They’re not complaining, but general manager Chris Young has already said that the Rangers won’t be asking starting pitchers to throw 200 innings in 2024. The Max Scherzer injury puts a dent in the rotation depth, and the Rangers continue to seek starters this offseason.

They have plenty of time to find arms, and they could even go beyond Feb. 14.

Headed to camp

The first wave of non-roster invitees to big-league spring training were announced Wednesday by the Rangers, though two of them were already known.

The signings of Jesus Tinoco and Diego Castillo were made official, along with deals for fellow right-hander Gerardo Carrillo, catcher Andrew Knapp and outfielders Sandro Fabian, Elier Hernandez and Derek Hill.

Fabian and Hernandez were teammates last season at Triple A Round Rock, where they were among the team’s leaders in many offensive categories. Both were in the conversation for getting promoted to the majors at various points in the season.

Fabian and Carrillo are the only two of the seven who have not played in the majors.

The Rangers will likely sign others to non-roster deals, including a catcher or two in addition to Knapp. Sam Huff appears to be the front-runner to back up Jonah Heim in 2024, but he will have to beat out some veterans with MLB experience. Knapp did not play in the majors in 2023 but had the previous six seasons.

New home for IKF

Former Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who won the Gold Glove at third base in 2020, is on the move.

He agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Blue Jays after spending the past two seasons with the Yankees. He was part of the Mitch Garver trade with the Twins, who a few days later flipped IKF to the Yankees along with Josh Donaldson.

Kiner-Falefa was the Rangers’ fourth-round pick in 2013 from Honolulu, and he endured a position switch to catcher before settling in as an infielder. He went multiple seasons in the minors without hitting a home run but has cleared a few fences in the majors.

The Yankees tried him as a center fielder in 2023 with mixed results, but Kiner-Falefa is the kind of player who will do anything to see the field.

 

Doggy video!

I want every one of those happy doggos. 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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