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Tuesday newsletter time: Rangers’ first full-squad workout means first day of live BP

(AP photo/Lindsey Wasson)

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. — The first full-squad workout of Rangers spring training Monday ushered in the first day of live batting practice for pitchers, which makes a lot of sense. They need someone in the batter’s box, and the arrival of the position players takes care of that need.

Those who threw were spread across the four-field cloverleaf on the back fields at the Surprise Recreation Campus. The two premier group of hitters were on Field 6 (Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe) and Field 3 (Evan Carter, Wyatt Langford and Leody Taveras).

Dane Dunning threw to the young outfielders at the same time Nathan Eovaldi threw to past Gold Glove winners. Non-roster invitees Danny Duffy and Jose Urena were on the other two fields.

Four groups rotated in and out. Here are a few things of note:

Dunning continued to work on a new pitch, which he hasn’t revealed yet. It’s not a knuckleball, unfortunately.

Jack Leiter’s delivery looks smoother and more in control than it did a year ago, when, as one observer said, he almost leaped toward the plate. He struck Ezequiel Duran with an elevated fastball during his session.

Emiliano Teodo, one of the pitching stars of the Arizona Fall League, threw a fastball at 100.7 mph. The concern with Teodo is if he can command that heater. One of the coaches watching noted that Teodo was trying to make an impression but would make a bigger impression with a tad less velocity and more command.

After watching pitchers on Field 3, one coach said, “Langford can really swing it.”

Among those who will throw live BP today is right-hander Jon Gray, who is scheduled to be the guest on the next Rangers Today Baseball Podcast.

Be careful out there

The crowd on the back fields swelled for the first full-squad workout, which was to be expected.

The problem is that there are too many autograph dealers. For those wondering how to tell the difference between dealers and fans, the dealers are the ones running after players.

A stampede of dealers ran from the third-base entrance to Field 5 to the first-base entrance in an attempt to get Garcia’s autograph. Only a few minutes earlier, the young children of a Rangers coach were standing right where the dealers rolled through and would have been plowed over had they still been there.

Seriously, if you plan to come with young kids, make sure you keep an eye on them.

I respect the hustle. It has to be difficult to make a living asking for autographs and trying to sell them on eBay. The chance to get Garcia or another star player might not come along too often, but some decorum should come with the job.

The players know who these guys are, and many players will make kids and people in Rangers gear the priority. That’s the way it should be.

Over in Angels camp …

Before the Angels took the field for their first full-squad workout under manager Ron Washington, their two highest-paid players met with the media.

First up was the great Mike Trout, who called requesting a trade “the easy way out” of Anaheim and said that he would appreciate winning it all with the Angels much more than with another club. He didn’t exactly say he didn’t want to be traded, just not right now after urging ownership to spend some more money to no avail.

Next up was Anthony Rendon, who seems to be the most disgruntled person to ever make $30 million a year. He told reporters that he has other priorities that come before baseball, namely his family. OK.

He said baseball is a priority because it’s his job. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The Rangers attempted to sign Rendon at the 2019 winter meetings but wouldn’t go to a seventh year. The Angels, shortly after being losing out on hometown kid Gerrit Cole, did go to the seventh year on Rendon.

Disaster avoided.

 

Video mania

If you haven’t visited the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast YouTube channel, get over there ASAP and subscribe for free.

Besides being the home of the podcast, the channel serves as the landing spot for videos from spring training. Footage of pitchers throwing bullpens and live BP has been uploaded, along with some hitters taking BP and player interviews.

Here are links to some of the most recent clips:

Corey Seager on his parade mic drop

Emiliano Teodo live batting practice

Jack Leiter live batting practice

Evan Carter arrives to camp

Corey Seager talks about his health

Doggy video!

Cat doesn’t need any table food. 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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2 Comments

  1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 20, 2024

    – Rendon is a spoiled human being. Towards the end of the interview, he literally said he didn’t want to answer questions.
    – I would be more optimistic if Leiter struck out a real hitter instead of Duran, but a guy with single A discipline is a start.

    Reply
    1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 20, 2024

      *Struck doesn’t mean the same as struck out. Opps… that’s actually a negative about his long-lasting command issues then

      Reply

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