Tuesday Newsletter time: Jon Gray has only one job as Rangers open road trip
(AP photo Ted S. Warren)
Jon Gray is 2 for 2 this season, and that’s not a good thing in this instance.
He has made two starts, his first two with the Texas Rangers, and both times he has been placed on the injured list.
Here’s hoping he’s no longer perfect after Tuesday.
Gray, the Rangers’ Opening Day starter, is scheduled to be reinstated from the IL to start against the Philadelphia Phillies as the Rangers open a five-game road trip. Gray threw a simulated game Friday and showed enough mobility on his sprained left knee to field his position.
He will wear a fairly bulky knee brace when pitching, but said it’s not much of a distraction.
The start will be a success if he’s able to pitch again Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
The Rangers’ rotation has been trending the right way of late, with Martin Perez logging seven innings Thursday and Dane Dunning going 7 2/3 innings Saturday. Each surrendered only one run. Taylor Hearn allowed two runs Sunday in five innings, and Glenn Otto has done enough to give the Rangers a chance in his two games.
Gray will try to keep that streak alive, though his pitch count will likely be monitored. The others have found their footing after a shortened spring and are finally dialed in and ready to work deep into games.
The Rangers were off Monday and will be off Thursday and next Monday. Otto could be in the bullpen through this stretch, which includes three weekend games against the Yankees.
POYs doing just fine
Cole Winn probably wasn’t thrilled with his outing Sunday for Triple A Round Rock, as he walked six batters, but the good news is he started after taking a ball off his left ankle Tuesday.
Winn has made five starts this season, logging only 21 1/3 innings but with a 3.38 ERA. His 1.22 WHIP is the result of his six-walk Sunday. The expectation is he will be in the majors at some point this season, but he needs to be built up more before his MLB debut is a consideration.
The Rangers selected Winn as their Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2021. Dustin Harris was the Rangers Minor League Player of the Year, and he is heating up at Double A Frisco.
Harris finished a triple short of the cycle Friday, and will enter play Tuesday with a .300 average, a .797 OPS, two homers and 15 RBIs. He’s doing this while learning how to play left field after spending most of his time last season at first base.
New at Rangers Today
The off day for the Rangers wasn’t an off day at Rangers Today.
I wrote about the latest Willie Calhoun saga, which flared up Sunday and he attempted to put out Monday. He told mlb.com he respectfully asked for a trade and that he will go to Triple A Round Rock to work hard on getting better.
Someone, it seems, got in his ear. I would guess agent Dan Lozano or teammate and fellow Bay Area native Marcus Semien, who worked out with Calhoun during the offseason.
The fact is that the Rangers would have difficulty trading Calhoun, who is batting .136 and has a -1.5 career WAR. Some with the Rangers were not thrilled Monday with what Calhoun told The Athletic on Sunday night.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
You know what else will be interesting to see? This week’s Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast episode. Barring a scheduling conflict, High A Hickory right-hander Mason Englert will be our guest.
Be sure to subscribe to the Podcast’s YouTube Channel (for free) and watch the latest episode featuring Dave Raymond (below).
Another dog dashing a young boy’s trot around the bases. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.
And he’s out! 😅
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) May 2, 2022