Tuesday newsletter time: Business side of baseball awaits Cody Bradford after MLB debut
(AP photo/Gareth Patterson)
The business side of baseball often is unpleasant, though left-hander Cody Bradford likely won’t complain.
His immediate future probably includes a return to Triple A Round Rock, where he has dominated this season and where he put himself in position to be called upon when the Rangers needed him.
They needed him Monday.
The demotion, if it happens, would have nothing to do with his performance in a 12-0 loss to the Braves in his MLB debut. The Rangers wanted Bradford for a spot start to give the five members of the rotation at least one extra day off.
As the guy in the opposing third-base box Monday said, that’s the way baseball go.
Manager Bruce Bochy shut down the idea of Bradford hanging around in the bullpen. He wouldn’t be available after his start for too many days for the move to make sense. That makes sense.
It could happen later in the season, and lord knows the Rangers’ bullpen could use some help.
Some would come today if Bradford, from nearby Aledo, does indeed go back to Round Rock. It could be time for Joe Barlow to make his 2023 MLB debut.
Bradford allowed six runs in five innings, four of which came in the second on two two-run homers. He threw strikes, as advertised, but too many of them weren’t quality strikes and ended up getting hit really hard.
But he didn’t shy away from the contact. After surrendering a mammoth homer to Ronald Acuna Jr. in the second, Bradford caught him looking in the fifth. The Braves would follow with two more runs, though, and that was it for Bradford.
That won’t be it for Bradford, however. Yes, he might go back to Triple A today, but his MLB career is just getting started.
The most popular person in a Braves uniform Monday night was third-base coach Ron Washington, the all-time leader in managerial wins in Rangers history.
Everyone who knew him then stopped by the Braves’ dugout before the game, and he made time for every last one of them. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and second baseman Marcus Semien, who got to know Washington in Oakland, stopped by, and so did owner Ray Davis.
The media members still lingering since Washington left in 2014 stopped by, too.
Washington stopped by the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast last week. He said that he still follows the Rangers closely, and expects them to get better when Corey Seager and Jacob deGrom return from the injured list.
Seager could be back today. The Rangers didn’t activated him Monday, as he thought would happen last week, but Bochy said that Seager likely does not need to return to Double A Frisco for another rehab game or two.
General manager Chris Young said that Seager’s return was “imminent.” The Rangers wanted to check him out and possible run him through a few more tests before making the decision on his return.
Whenever he does return, the Rangers will have to shed a position player. The easy choice would be to send catcher Sam Huff back to Round Rock.
Position player pitching
Cole Ragans followed Bradford and didn’t fare much better, allowing four runs in three innings. Another left-hander, John King, was warming in the eighth inning, but the Rangers took a different route with reserve catcher Sandy Leon.
Leon got two quick outs but hit Sean Murphy and then allowed a two-run homer to Marcel Ozuna.
The Rangers went with Leon for the same reason they went with Bradford: to give guys some rest on the Rangers’ 11th straight day with a game. The bullpen should have no trouble getting to the off day Thursday.
Leon became the 19th position player to pitch in Rangers history and the 25th time it has happened. It’s hold hat for Leon, who has eight career appearances. He topped out at 83 mph.
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