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Tuesday newsletter time: Pitchers are cranking, but Rangers will monitor 2024 workloads

(AP photo/Charlie Riedel)


Josh Sborz said only a few weeks after the World Series that he was working out and playing catch.

Dane Dunning said on Friday that he took only two weeks off from throwing and is throwing off a mound, right on his normal schedule.

Both accounts rate as surprising, considering that the Rangers played an extra month en route to capturing the first World Series title in franchise history.

But one key to the Rangers repeating will be how fresh they are able to keep their pitchers.

General manager Chris Young said that the Rangers won’t be pushing any starter to 200 innings. With all the potential multi-inning relievers, plus the projected second-half returns of Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle, the Rangers could allow starters to rest early in spring training and finish their build-ups in the regular season.

Relievers don’t need to build up nearly as much, so they can take it easy early in camp, too.

Those initial Cactus League games could feature a lot of Owen White, Jack Leiter, Cole Winn, Zak Kent and Jose Corniell.

Some from that group have a chance to pitch in the majors in the first half, even if the Rangers add another starting pitcher before the season.

There’s still plenty of time for that.

Same old refrain

Our 11-year-old son is a big baseball fan and, like a lot of kids in the area, is still riding the high of the World Series.

He asks one of two questions just about every night: Have the Rangers signed anyone else? Who have the Rangers lost?

The answers have been pretty much the same for a few weeks now: No one new.

The signing of Mahle didn’t move the needle move the much. The departure of Martin Perez stung a little.

He is curious if the Rangers are going to re-sign Jordan Montgomery. Join the club. There’s certainly more noise about it, with “experts” predicting that the left-hander will be back in Texas.

The Josh Hader rumor won’t go away. The bullpen really was that bad last season, but no one seems to recognize that the bullpen rebounded in October and that the Rangers just don’t sign high-priced relievers.

That’s not to say the Rangers don’t need another reliever. They found their key first-half reliever last season more than a week into spring training, signing Will Smith to a one-year deal.

Montgomery won’t last that long. Relief help and a bench bat will be available into February.

For now, though, the answer to our son’s question is still no one new.

Caravan cranks up

The first stop on the Rangers Kroger Winter Caravan begins at 6 tonight as Jared Sandler hosts the first hot stove podcast ta 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. The public can begin arriving at 5:30. A pair of Joshes, Smith and Sborz will be the guests.

It’s the first of 14 stops that cover a good deal of the state, from Longview to the east, Austin to the south, Lubbock to the west and Sherman to the north. There’s even a stop in Durant, Okla.

It’s the first of three stops for Sborz and the first of two for Smith. Jon Gray also makes multiple stops, though none in the Metroplex.

Don’t forget Jan. 20 at Double A Frisco, which always hosts a big stop. Though not a caravan stop, Rangers Fan Fest is scheduled for Jan. 27 at Globe Life Field, where there will be no shortage of Rangers players, coaches and officials on hand.

The first ever live Rangers Today Baseball Podcast also is not a caravan stop, but it’s set for 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Hop & Sting Brewing Co. in Grapevine. Pitching coach Mike Maddux and former Rangers left-hander Derek Holland are confirmed guests, and others are expected.

Doggy video!

Today’s forecast. 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. deGrom Texas Ranger January 9, 2024

    I don’t get the extreme aversion to signing Hader. Sure, he costs 2nd and 3rd round picks and probably a lot of money. However, it’s not like people are saying Texas should sign Hector Neris, Phil Maton, AND David Robertson. Instead, they want that 20 MM to go to about 75% of Montgomery’s salary. This is more about the BP than the rotation, but 99 out of 100 times, Texas would not win the World Series with that bullpen to start off vs Tampa. They got reall really lucky. Above average gyys include pending free agents Kirby Yates/Jose Leclerc, Brock Burke, and maybe 1 or 2 minor league invites or prospects. Injuries aside, Texas has 26 spots that would be filled with 12 or 13 pitchers, meaning they have 7 or 8 BP arms. They don’t just need 1 back end guy. I don’t get the idea that national wroters have adopted saying Texas only needs 1 late innings guy and also has bigger SP needs and DH needs. It’s the best offense in baseball and has lots of star power + depth. Bullpen >>>>> everything else


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