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Wednesday newsletter time: More live batting practice at Rangers spring camp

Andrew Heaney was one of the Rangers pitchers who threw live batting practice Tuesday (Texas Rangers/Bailey Orr).

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. — The adidas guys rolled through Rangers camp Tuesday, taking care of Corey Seager, Evan Carter and others who rep that gear. I’ve been an adidas guy for a long time, but they forgot to ask for my shoe size (11).

A rep for a bat manufacturer set up shop outside the clubhouse.

The big event, though, was photo day, when every player in camp and the coaching staff cycle through various stations to get their pictures snapped by the club’s marketing department and various media outlets. The more major-league service time a player has, the later he has to run the gauntlet.

Stuff like that pops up through the early stages of camp. Better to take care of things now than once the regular season starts.

But none of it takes time away from the task at hand, and Tuesday was the second day of live batting practice for pitchers.

Those who watched Cole Winn liked what they saw from the right-hander. The 2018 first-rounder was around the plate and induced a lot of soft contact. A tweak he said he made with the leg lift late last season and over the winter is noticeable.

Josh Sborz faced off against 2023 first-rounder Wyatt Langford and came away impressed. Sborz said Langford hit a grounder at 105 mph that might have gone for a hit and later connected for a sure single off a slider.

Live BP is important for the hitters, too. Most haven’t seen live pitches since last season and need to get their timing right and be able to recognize pitches and whether they are balls or strikes.

The pitchers need to see someone in the batter’s box before the Cactus League scheduled begins Friday.

The Rule 5 guy

It never fails that the Rangers will need to open a few spots on the 40-man roster to start the regular season and might even need one this spring should the right deal for a starting pitcher come along.

This year, they have three pitchers they can slide to the 60-day injured list to make it happen: Right-handers Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle.

Depending on how the next few weeks go, Carson Coleman could be a fourth.

That name might not ring a bell, but Coleman figures to be in the news once he completes his recovery from Tommy John surgery at some point late in the spring. He was selected in December in the Rule 5 draft.

The injury could make things tricky for him to log enough days of days on the active roster to keep him in the organization.

Coleman can’t be sent to the minors and must be active at least 90 days or be circulated through the back end of the Rule 5 process: placed on waivers and offered back to the team that lost him if no one claims him. His injury aside, he also needs to show that he can help the team out of the bullpen.

That’s down the road. He has only recently completed his throwing program and has a few more steps to take before he can get on the mound. Because of the injury, he said he was surprised that he was selected from the Yankees’ Triple-A roster.

“Even the day I got picked up, truthfully I forgot it was the Rule 5,” Coleman said. “That morning I came for throwing, and a lot of the Yankees staff were like, ‘Well, we’ll see ya. Last day as a Yankee.’ I was like, ‘You guys must know something I don’t.'”

The first thing he wanted to know was which team grabbed him. He was happy to have landed with the reigning world champions.

“As soon as I learned it was the Rangers, I was pretty excited,” Coleman said. “Just being a fan of baseball, the Rangers were always one of my favorite teams. That was definitely a team I was hoping would come home with the title.”

 

Get your gear here

Our buddy Josh Sneed and the folks at his In the Clutch Apparel have some new Rangers-themed t-shirts out that you might want to add to your collection of Rangers gear.

One captures one of the iconic moments from the World Series, Seager’s game-tying two-run homer in Game 1.

They still have a classic world champs t-shirt available, too.

Visit this link and enter RANGERSTODAY at checkout for a discount.

For those who want official World Series gear, or more of it, visit this Fanatics link.

Doggy video!

Let’s see a cat try to do this. 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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