Wednesday newsletter time: Rookies fare well, but Rangers can’t stop losing streak
(AP photo/Gareth Patterson)
ARLINGTON — Cody Bradford seems to getting the hang of big-league pitching.
The left-hander allowed only one run in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday, and was pulled only because he was working on a pitch limit after throwing eight innings Friday for Triple A Round Rock.
With left-hander Cole Ragans optioned to Round Rock and with Jon Gray’s next start undetermined, Bradford might hang around a while longer.
Gray (blister) said he will start either Saturday or Monday. If he goes Saturday, it would bump Dane Dunning to Sunday and Bradford wouldn’t be needed for a second start. If Gray goes Monday, Bradford would start again Sunday.
He’s getting more comfortable after three big-league starts.
“I’m ready to my job,” Bradford said.
Right-hander Owen White, who made his MLB debut in relief of Bradford, might also have a little staying power.
White was the losing pitcher as the Rangers dropped their third straight game, 7-3 to the Angels. He entered with a 2-1 lead, striking out the first batter he faced, but allowed three runs in the sixth as the Angels shot ahead.
White didn’t pitch poorly, as the first two Angels reached in the sixth on some soft contact. He allowed a two-run homer to Hunter Renfroe that was well struck but still barely cleared the wall in right field.
“The kid Owen should have come out of it a little better than he did,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Rangers don’t have much length in the bullpen as currently constructed, and White could provide innings in a few days. He also could pitch Sunday for Double A Frisco and get back onto a starter’s schedule.
With the Rangers short on rotation depth, that might be the right call. Joe Barlow could come off the injured list and take White’s spot.
It will all be figured out today.
Maybe the Rangers’ offense will have some things figured out, too.
Corey Seager and Nate Lowe homered, but the offense didn’t do much else with its other seven hits. A day after being the first Rangers hitter in 12 years to go 0 for 7, Marcus Semien went 0 for 4 and is 3 for 28 in his past six games (.107).
Brock Burke made his first appearance in nine days and gave the Rangers 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work in relief of White. Bochy didn’t give any reasons for the Burke absence, saying only that he is fine now and was ready to pitch Tuesday.
The Rangers need a healthy Burke, especially with Jose Leclerc continuing to be wildly inconsistent. The Rangers needed him to get two outs in the ninth behind Burke, but he got only one and allowed three runs to put the game out of reach.
Burke was one of the best setup men in baseball last season, and has been effective his past six outings in lowering his ERA to 2.73. There was talk in the offseason and in spring training about giving him a chance to close games, but it never materialized.
Josh Sborz appears to be the eighth-inning guy now, and he’s been very good of late, too. Still, the trade deadline can’t get here quickly enough.
Right-hander Glenn Otto (oblique) allowed two runs in three efficient innings for Round Rock in the first start of his rehab assignment. Otto struck out four, didn’t issue any walks and needed only 36 pitches.
He likely needs most of the 30 days he can be on assignment before he’s an option in the majors.
Joining Otto at Round Rock was utility man Brad Miller (oblique), who went 0 for 2 in his first game. It will be interesting to see what the Rangers do once Miller is ready, as he doesn’t seem to be a fit any longer.
At Frisco, left-hander Danny Duffy tossed two scoreless innings, though he allowed four hits. The Rangers haven’t said how far they will stretch Duffy out as he returns from forearm surgery. He is on a minor-league contract, so the Rangers aren’t under any timeline to promote him to the big leagues.
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