Thursday newsletter time: Tiring Heim continues to struggle, but helps Perez log seven innings
(AP photo/Caean Couto)
Left-hander Martin Perez started Wednesday night for the Rangers, and that meant Jonah Heim would be doing the catching.
Perez likes pitching to Heim, and the Rangers like the idea of Perez being at his best even with their desire to limit Heim’s playing time the rest of the way.
He’s never caught as much in his professional career as he has this season. The belief is the experience will serve him well next season, when on Opening Day he could be behind the plate with Mitch Garver at designated hitter.
Heim is tired. His average has dipped to .225 while in the midst of a 10-for-87 skid. He went 0 for 3 Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to Seattle.
Perez struggled over the first three innings before settling in over his final four. He did well to allow only three runs as his pitch count mounted, and was still standing in the seventh.
Along the way, he set the club record for consecutive five-inning starts by a left-hander (29).
Perez sits at 190 1/3 innings this season, 8 1/3 shy of his career high. Extension talks between Perez and the Rangers have been tabled, but there is mutual interest in a return.
The Rangers led 1-0 in the first inning after an RBI single by Josh Jung. The rookie has driven in all six Rangers runs this series after a two-homer, five-RBI game Tuesday.
Corey Seager and the gnarly insta-bruise on his left forearm were out of the lineup Wednesday, as he continued to get treatment after getting smoked Tuesday night by a Matthew Boyd fastball.
Josh Smith started at shortstop in place of Seager, who appears to have dodged a more serious injury. He broke his right hand last season with the Dodgers and missed nearly three months.
If there is one significant takeaway for Seager this season it’s that he has avoided the injured list and exceeded 600 plate appearances for the first time since 2017. His 32 home runs are a career-high, but his .246 average is the worst of his career and his .777 OPS is second-worst.
The Rangers have eight games remaining, and it sounds like Seager should play again before the season ends.
62 in Arlington?
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League single-season home-run record Wednesday with his 61st home run. The Yankees have seven games remaining.
The last four are next week at Globe Life Field as the Yankees and Rangers make up the four games that were originally scheduled as the season-opening series. The games were pushed back because of the MLB lockout.
If Judge is unable to homer again this weekend at home against Baltimore, his chase for No. 62 would end in Arlington.
So would the circus that would follow him. Here’s rooting for a Judge homer before Monday.
Happy Thursday. The weekend is almost here. It’s the final weekend of the regular season, for those who are counting down the days, games, innings, pitches. The players will be taking off beginning next Thursday, but not the front office as officials look to hire a manager and then sign some free agents and strike some trades. Rangers Today won’t be off, so be sure to A) subscribe for full access (as low as $5.99 a month) or B) don’t let your subscriptions lapse. Now, here’s some of our latest in case you missed it.
Emptying the notebook: Lefties’ deals, Wash, Tom Grieve
Friday on the Farm: Minor-league playoffs
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Thomas Saggese joins the show
Anyone else need a boost at this point in the week? Enjoy. See you Friday.
Need a boost little guy? 😇💪🐶 pic.twitter.com/nbqtFjjB28
— Laughs 4 All 🤟 (@Laughs_4_All) September 28, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org