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Top Rangers News
Rangers' Alex Speas: No restrictions in 2020
Speas has recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery and will have no restrictions in 2020, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Speas emerged from rehab this spring throwing 102 MPH, which concerned the Rangers that he was coming out too hot. They shut him down for a stretch, but the 22-year-old right-hander will face no restrictions. The Rangers had hoped he'd move quickly through the system. It's unclear if Speas will be part of the proposed taxi squad teams may be allowed to carry during an abbreviated season.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Lance Lynn: Throwing two bullpens per week
Lynn has been throwing the equivalent of two bullpen sessions per week while awaiting the start of the MLB season, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Lynn, who was poised to be the Rangers' Opening Day starter, is home in Nashville (Tenn.) throwing in a tunnel he built for himself or into a net in his driveway. Once the league and the players' union agree to a re-opening, the loose plan for Texas' starters is to get three starts apiece in a mini-spring training, going from three innings the first day, then building up to 80-85 pitches by the third outing. Typically, starters are up to 90-to-100 pitches by the end of a normal spring training, so expect shorter outings initially.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Joey Gallo: Takes BP in new park
Gallo took batting practice in the Rangers' new ballpark Monday and noted it plays deep in center field, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
The distance to center field at the new Globe Life Park is 407 feet from home plate with nooks on both sides of dead center that extend to 410 feet. "It's playing big as hell," Gallo said on a conference call Monday after taking batting practice. "It's a little deep in center. The hitters are a little nervous about that." It's hard to draw any conclusions from one BP session when there are many variables -- live pitching, game balls, fans in the stands, open or closed roof. Additionally, Gallo usually doesn't hit home runs to straightaway center. Seventy-five of 110 career homers and 45 of 63 at home were from the center/right alley to the right field foul line. For the 18 he's hit at home to center field, the home runs averaged a distance of 434 feet with a low of 410 (per MLB Statcast). The other new park dimensions are similar to the old one, including the right field alley and foul line, so Gallo should do just fine.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Willie Calhoun: Takes first BP
Calhoun recently took his first round of batting practice since undergoing surgery on his jaw, Brice Paterik of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Calhoun, who answered several questions on MLB Radio, discussed his recovery from the injury among other topics. On April 22, he posted a video of himself taking batting practice on Instagram. "That was a huge day for me because before that I wasn't able to hit off live batting practice or the machine because of the vibrations it would have sent to my jaw. I thought I felt really good then," said Calhoun, who declared himself 100 percent. The outfielder said there is numbness from his right cheek down to his jaw, a condition doctors told him he'll have to live with for the next six months. Calhoun added that he will be hitting with a protective flap on his helmet.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Kyle Gibson: Preparing at home
Gibson is throwing at home in a 70-foot long shed with an artificial mound in his backyard in Missouri during the delay for major league baseball, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Gibson throws 40 to 50 pitches into a net, resting after about every set of 15 throws in order to simulate a three-inning outing. His six-year-old daughter holds an iPad hooked to a Rapsodo pitch monitor to determine balls and strikes. "I'm trying to mimic [spring training] as much as possible," Gibson said. "I figure we are going to have three or four starts to get ready. If you don't keep up your strength and endurance, you aren't going to be where you need to be when we get back." Last season, Gibson was stricken with ulcerative colitis, an auto-immune disease that puts him at an elevated risk for COVID-19 infection, although doctors told the right-hander there is no definitive evidence that he's at any higher risk for the disease's most serious manifestations.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Josh Jung: Works on pulling ball
Jung spent the offseason working on pulling the ball, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Jung, who spent a week in the rookie-level Arizona League before jumping to Low-A Hickory for 40 games in 2019, made more than 500 plate appearances between Texas Tech and pro ball last year. Playing that much helped Jung and the organization recognize areas of focus for this past offseason. "He invested a ton of time on his own and with our hitting coaches learning how to properly pull the ball and continue his growth as a multi-dimensional hitter," said Rangers assistant general manager for player development Mike Daly. The team feels he can unlock more power by pulling the ball more, a crucial step for the 22-year-old after he hit only two homers in 44 games during his pro debut.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Leody Taveras: Org waits on hitting
The Rangers believe Taveras will eventually develop into an average hitter, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Taveras already brings MLB-ready defense to the outfield, but his .695 OPS following a mid-season promotion to Double-A Frisco was a red flag. He has above-average speed, but there is a challenge to him getting on base (.320 OBP at Frisco). Taveras has survived offensively in the lower levels of the minors, but much of his contact was weak, and his strikeout rate jumped five points as he attempted to add more power last year. At this point, Taveras profiles as an elite defender with below-average offense. That means he's a fourth outfielder unless he can develop the hit tool.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Sam Huff: Shows off power stroke
Huff hit a combined .278/.335/.509 with 28 home runs between Low-A Hickory and High-A Down East over 127 games in 2019.
Huff was a big mover in the organization, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. He was off the radar prior to 2019, but his power warranted an early promotion to Down East, and he won the MVP at the All-Star Futures Game in July. He moved to the second-ranked Rangers prospect per MLB Pipeline while Baseball America pegs him at No. 99 on their top-100 list. The big-time power is the skill that grabs the most attention, but he strikes out a ton and is still a work in progress as a receiver, particularly at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds. That's big for a catcher. The Rangers plan to have him open at Double-A Frisco, where he will be managed by former MLB catcher Bobby Wilson.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Cole Winn: Strong finish to first season
Winn posted a 4.46 ERA with 39 walks and 65 strikeouts over 68.2 innings for Low-A Hickory in 2019.
Winn, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2018, made his professional debut in 2019 after spending his first months following the draft in what the organization calls a "deload" program, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. That's when young pitchers out of high school focus on mechanics and routine. His introduction to pro ball wasn't pretty, but the right-hander finished strong, recording a 3.20 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over his final 13 starts. The 20-year-old throws four pitches -- 94 MPH fastball, slider, curve and changeup -- with the curve being the most advanced. Winn's compact delivery suggests an ability to repeat his mechanics.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Ricky Vanasco: Working on changeup
The Rangers want Vanasco to develop his changeup, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Vanasco blossomed in 2019, adding 2-3 MPH to his fastball, putting him in the 94-97 MPH range with an ability to top out at 99, while striking out 75 over 49.2 innings at short-season Spokane and Low-A HIckory. The 21-year-old right-hander commands the heater and has a good feel for the curveball, which was enough to get by at the lower levels, but his changeup lags. The organization had Vanasco on a changeup quota last year, and it remains a work in progress. One AL scout said adding a dependable changeup is the key to his future; it either keeps him on a starter's trajectory or moves him to a back end of the bullpen.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Maximo Acosta: Ready for professional ball
Acosta did not play at any level in 2019 after signing with the Rangers, but he's expected to make his professional debut in 2020, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Acosta signed with the Rangers in January 2019, but the contract is effective 2020. The international free agent, who turns 18 in October, has grown since he signed and may mature out of shortstop. For now, he'll give the Rangers a prospect that projects a Gleyber Torres-like bat in the middle infield.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Kyle Cody: Beginning year at Double-A
The Rangers optioned Cody to Double-A Frisco on March 7.
Healthy again after July 2018 Tommy John surgery, Cody will make the jump to Double-A despite logging only 30.2 career innings at High-A, all of which came in 2017. The 25-year-old has been developed as a starter up to this point his career, but the Rangers' decision to aggressively promote him to begin the current season could hint at a move to the bullpen in 2020.... See More ... See Less
Tue, May 26 @ 8:05 pm
Globe Life Field