Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers will shift into another gear after another off day
(AP photo/Ashley Landis)
The Rangers enjoyed off day No. 2 on Tuesday. They get one more March 21, and March 26, the day after spring training, is their mandatory off day.
All these off days in spring training is a new thing, and probably a good thing. But the clock is ticking toward the end of camp and the beginning of the regular season, and stuff needs to get done.
One task is getting the starting rotation lined up.
The Rangers have an idea of how they would like to roll out their rotation to start the season. Some of the lining up took place over the weekend. Jon Gray threw one inning Sunday in a minor-league game to help get him in line for the regular season.
Gray will start Thursday in the Rangers’ first night game of the spring.
The Rangers will have to split up Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, who each threw Monday in a minor-league game. Andrew Heaney pitched Sunday and Martin Perez pitched Saturday for Venezuela. He is lined up to pitch this weekend in Miami.
It won’t be a difficult task for pitching coach Mike Maddux as long as all five projected starters get through the rest of the spring healthy.
The guess here is that Perez starts the season opener as a reward for his 2022 season for the Rangers, and will be followed by deGrom to ensure the second game of the season is also sold out. It’s a toss up after that, and the off day following Opening Day could jostle things further.
Pitchers will be working deeper into games. Relievers will start pitching on back-to-back days. Position players will be playing longer, and manager Bruce Bochy said that he would like for them to play nine innings before the season begins.
These might seem like little things, but they are all necessary steps in a club getting ready for a new season and they’re coming.
Bally bankruptcy update
Diamond Sports Group, which owns and operates the Bally Sports Regional Networks, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, and that sounds pretty bad. It is, potentially, for a few teams but not the Rangers. At least not yet.
Diamond said that it has the money to operate Bally Sports Southwest and 13 other regional networks as is during the Chapter 11 restructuring. But they missed a payment to the Diamondbacks, and the Reds, Padres and Guardian might be next. MLB could eventually take over broadcasting for those clubs.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Rangers won’t eventually get a new media rights deal.
Chuck Greenberg negotiated the current deal more than a decade ago. It was a 20-year pact, which started in 2015, worth anywhere from $1.6 billion to $3 billion depending on escalators in the deal. At minimum the Rangers should be getting $80 million a year.
A new rights deal could end up being worth less, though who knows with today’s changing media.
Podcast channel is lit
If you haven’t subscribed to the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast YouTube channel, you’re missing out. All the cool kids are doing it.
We’ve passed 1,500 subscribers (remember: it’s totally free) and will be doing more than just podcasts and spring-training videos. But we did just return from spring training, where we live-streamed the Jacob deGrom minor-league outing Monday and captured videos of MLB players and minor-leaguers.
A Gray bullpen? Check.
DeGrom on his MLB the Show rating (and a hilarious quip by moi)? Check.
Ask a big-leaguer, with Mitch Garver? Check.
Anthony Gutierrez hitting? Check.
There’s a lot of good stuff, and it’s all for free. Subscribe, like, share and comment, and help this channel grow. Some great stuff is in the planning stages, too.
Good boy! Enjoy.
The Dog… jackpot 🤣🐶 pic.twitter.com/YR0m4tVRSg
— JimLeitrim2 (@JimLeitrim2) March 14, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org