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Thursday newsletter time: Rangers’ win streak halted at eight as bats silenced

(AP photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)


Max Scherzer, lamenting soft contact last week after his Rangers debut, said that White Sox hitters are MLB players and drive nice cars, too.

Rangers hitters might be saying the same thing about A’s pitchers after Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at Oakland Coliseum.

Five Oakland pitchers allowed only four hits, two of which came with two outs in the ninth. Rangers left-hander Jordan Montgomery allowed two runs in six innings, and somehow the A’s made it stand as the Rangers’ winning streak ended at eight games.

The Rangers have the day off today before opening a three-game series at San Francisco. Corey Seager didn’t play Wednesday as manager Bruce Bochy chose to sit him in the finale to give him two days off while missing only one game.

Seager didn’t even pinch hit with two outs in the ninth as the potential winning run. His right thumb still isn’t 100 percent, and the Rangers are playing the long game with him.

He’s expected back Friday, when the Rangers will take the field with either a 1 1/2-game lead or a 2 1/2-game lead depending on how the Astros fare at Baltimore. They won again Wednesday night, trimming the Rangers’ advantage in the American League West to two games.

Is it too early to start scoreboard watching? Probably. Is that going to stop anyone from doing it? Probably not.

Roster move coming

The Rangers are planning to purchase the contract of Triple A Round Rock outfielder J.P. Martinez in time for the Giants series. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Martinez has been terrific this season and is in the running for Rangers Minor League Player of the Year.

The corresponding move should be interesting. First, the Rangers need to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Martinez, who was the consolation prize in the international market after the Rangers missed on Shohei Ohtani in December 2017. Martinez was added in the spring of 2018 for $2.8 million.

First up is the ever-present possibility of an injury. There doesn’t appear to be an obvious candidate.

Next up is a lack of production. Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras are slumping, but both are needed. Both also have minor-league options.

Something else to consider: With Jonah Heim healing quickly and possibly returning next week, the Rangers might be able to part with catcher Austin Hedges. Yes, they just got him at the trade deadline, but they didn’t give up much. Brad Miller, on the injured list, might also be expendable.

Sam Huff and Jonathan Ornelas, who made his MLB debut Monday, could be optioned out if the 40-man move doesn’t involved a player on the active roster.

Martinez is batting .311 with a .993 OPS at Round Rock. He missed four weeks earlier in the season with a groin injury, but didn’t miss a beat upon returning. He can play all three outfield positions, and he would be a defensive upgrade in left field over Robbie Grossman and Josh Smith, who finished Wednesday’s game there.

Martinez, 27, as earned the chance to be in the majors. If the Rangers were as bad as they were last season, he would already be in the majors.

He’s about to get his chance.

Jung surgery

Third baseman Josh Jung had a plate and multiple screws implanted in his left thumb to stabilize a fracture caused Sunday by a 109.4 mph line drive off his glove.

The procedure was performed in Scottsdale, Ariz., the apparent the thumb surgery capital of the U.S. Jung will rejoin the team and rehab with the major-league staff in the hopes of returning before the end of the season.

Bochy said on Tuesday that he expects Jung to play again this season.

As they wait, the Rangers need to see more production from Duran, whose average has slipped to .277 during a 5-for-40 skid. He rates as an early-season hero while Seager was out the first time this season with a bad hamstring.

Smith nearly homered Wednesday, but he doesn’t have the same power potential as Duran.

Doggy video!

It works. 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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1 Comment

  1. Charles Neeley August 10, 2023

    Looking at the September schedules. The Astros have every Thursday off (4). The Rangers get two days off in Sep. This is grossly unfair. GM and Owner need to make sure this doesn’t happen in future years.


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