Tuesday newsletter time: Rangers might be without Dane Dunning to start next season
(The Associated Press/Ted S. Warren)
Dane Dunning had the torn right labrum in his hip surgically repaired Monday morning in Arlington, and all went according to plan.
The plan going forward, though, might affect the Rangers’ approach to the offseason.
There is a chance Dunning won’t be ready for the start of spring training, which could force him to start the 2023 season on the injured list. With how conservatively the Rangers handle pitching injuries, you wouldn’t be wrong to expect that to happen.
The Rangers are already in the market for starting pitching. They keep saying they want to re-sign Martin Perez, but talks have been tabled since Jon Daniels was let go as president of baseball operations. The same goes for re-signing left-handed reliever Matt Moore.
Daniels was driving both of those.
Beyond Perez, the Rangers might be inclined to add three more pitchers now that Dunning’s status is iffy. Then again, if he’s only going to miss a month or so, the Rangers could try to sneak by with what they have now (Glenn Otto or Cole Ragans).
Dunning went 4-8 with a 4.46 ERA in a career-high 153 1/3 innings. He walked too many batters, which led to a 1.435 WHIP, and was not good on the road (0-6, 5.62 EAR, 1.706 WHIP).
Those are back-of-the-rotation numbers, and teams need fourth and fifth starters. A rotation of new guy, Jon Gray, Martin Perez, new guy and Dunning should win some more ballgames.
While everyone gets excited about the possibility of Jacob de Grom and Carlos Rodon coming to Arlington, don’t forget that the Rangers have had terrific success the past five seasons targeting the mid-level market. Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Gray and Perez all signed for less than $14 million a season.
If the Rangers believe in their pro scouting, which has been really good the past few seasons (add Nate Lowe, Jonah Heim, Moore), and their pitching operation, they could target that area again.
It’s not sexy, but financially responsible wins are.
The winner is …
Some pitcher on the Triple A Round Rock roster was going to stay in the Pacific Northwest after the series at Tacoma.
The Rangers needed a pitcher and were headed for Seattle for their next three games, so it didn’t make sense to promote anyone not with Round Rock.
Tyson Miller is the lucky winner of Dunning’s spot on the roster.
The selection probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, though it should have gone to Kyle Cody. The right-hander is pitching at Round Rock (4.08 ERA) and logging multiple innings out of the bullpen. He’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason and has a very good case for being adding him to the 40-man roster.
He throws hard, has a very good slider and has transitioned nicely from the rotation to the bullpen. With his injury history (Tommy John surgery, torn shoulder labrum), the Rangers might want to keep him as a reliever.
With the success of lefty Brock Burke this season and the baseball trend of going short with starters, a second effective multi-innings reliever could come in awfully handy.
There could be another opportunity to add Cody next week. The Rangers have doubleheader next Tuesday against the Yankees and will add an extra player. It’s almost always a pitcher, so adding Cody there makes some sense if the Rangers are worried about losing him in the Rule 5 draft.
Speaking of the minors …
Double A Frisco is one win away from being crowned champions of the Texas League, and the RoughRiders have two games to get it.
They routed Wichita in Game 1 of the best-of-3 series Sunday night, 11-3, as catcher Scott Kapers swatted two homers, including a grand slam, and former Rangers Today Baseball Podcast guest Jonathan Ornelas collected four hits as the Frisco leadoff hitter.
Mason Englert, another podcast guest, yielded one run in 5 1/3 innings.
Let's roll that beautiful footage from last night's game 🎥 pic.twitter.com/z1qin1R6AT
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) September 26, 2022
Right-hander Jack Leiter, yet another podcast guest, could get the nod for Game 2. He has started the past two Tuesdays and would be on normal rest. He couldn’t hone in on a tight strike zone in Game 1 of the South Division series, walking six in 3 1/3 innings, but Frisco rallied past San Antonio.
Mooooooon River. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.
She's touching my bum Dave… Halp!!! pic.twitter.com/z60x4gMgpc
— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) September 24, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org