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Thursday newsletter time: Jonah Heim front and center again as Rangers overturn White Sox

(AP photo/Quinn Harris)


When all 162 games have been played this season and everyone looks back at the Rangers’ schedule, the three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field will look like a solid series win.

Every winning series for a contending team, especially on the road, is a building block for the postseason.

This one, though, will be remembered for the ridiculously bad call that potentially cost the Rangers a sweep.

The call, of course, came Tuesday when a replay official overturned an out call at home because he thought Johan Heim violated the “Buster Posey Rule,” which he very clearly did not. That call was still being talked about Wednesday night during the telecast of the series finale.

Heim connected for a three-run homer in the Rangers’ 6-3 win over the White Sox. As he rounded first he motioned for the headset, mimicking what managers do when they want to to challenge a play.

How do you like them apples, replay guy?

Martin Perez allowed three runs in seven innings, and Ezequiel Duran connected for a two-run homer.

The Rangers were headed to New York after the game for an off day today before a weekend series at Yankee Stadium. The forecast looks pretty wet, which isn’t unusual for a Rangers trip to the Bronx.

Who’s your favorite?

The Rangers’ lineup Wednesday featured the probable All-Star starter at second base leading off, one of the hottest hitters in baseball batting second, the reigning AL Silver Slugger at first base, one of the top run producers in the league, the leader for AL Rookie of the Year and a catcher who already has his career-high in RBIs.

The final three batters were all hitting above .300.

Not bad.

With so many to choose from, it’s hard to pick which Rangers hitters stands out the most. To me, it’s Leody Taveras, the No. 9 hitter.

He’s coming into his own after a premature call-up in 2020 and struggles in 2021 and 2022. He’s one of the .300 hitters at the bottom, is on pace for 17 home runs and also plays terrific defense in center field.

Duran isn’t a bad answer. Travis Jankowski, who wouldn’t have made the team has Taveras been healthy to start a season, is another player who has provided unexpected results.

Marcus Semien sticks out because of how poorly he performed early last season. Josh Jung has been a huge upgrade at third base.

And that’s just the hitters. Jon Gray and Dane Dunning have been better than expected as well.

Give me Gray on the pitching side.

A tweak away?

Josh Smith entered the game in the eighth inning in left field, and he wasn’t subbed in as a defensive upgrade.

Jankowski exited after a hard slide into second base while trying to break up a double play. It doesn’t seem like an injury that would force him back onto the injured list, where he spent time last month with strained right hamstring.

If it does, though, the Rangers might want to call up J.P. Martinez from Triple A Round Rock. He was being considered for a promotion in April before pulling his groin. He returned last week and hasn’t skipped a beat.

The center fielder has been a tick better. He enters today with a 1.034 OPS in 34 Triple A games. He’s batting .350 with a .481 on-base percentage. That’s good.

Martinez, the consolation prize after the Rangers failed to land Shohei Ohtani, would need a spot on the 40-man roster.

Another center fielder, Evan Carter, is not an option, but he is back at Double A Frisco after missing time with a wrist injury. He collected a triple Wednesday in his first at-bat off the injured list and homered in his second at-bat.


This space is reserved each Thursday for stories you might have missed early in the week. If you’ve looked at all three newsletters this week, you haven’t missed anything.

The culprit keep me from doing more was a baseball tournament for my 10-year-old that was sold as the World Series. His team, which simply had to pay to play in the World Series, opened play Friday and wrapped up Wednesday as the runner-up in its bracket. The championship game was rained out, which doesn’t seem very World Series-like.

My verdict: It was too much for parents to juggle. Oh, I’m sure we’ll do it next spring, and hopefully we’ll be more prepared. Hopefully the heat index will manage to stay below 115 degrees.

So, it’s a screwy week at Rangers Today. We have a podcast episode that hasn’t hit YouTube yet as our producer deals with a family member passing away. John Moore is celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary in Broken Bow, so we won’t be doing our normal podcast this week.

We will be doing a live thingy Friday night on the interwebs or Zoom. I’m not sure, but come join us.

Doggy video!

What a ham. 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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