Top Rangers News
Rangers' Jesse Chavez: Mechanical tweak works
Chavez credits a tweak he made in his delivery that produced a career-best 2.55 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 2018, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
While he was with the Rangers early in 2018, at the behest of pitching instructor Hector Ortiz, Chavez lowered his arm angle slightly and released the ball more like an infielder. This resulted in an uptick in velocity and more movement on his fastball. From that point until he was traded to the Cubs on July 19, the right-hander compiled a 2.31 ERA while holding hitters to a .215 batting average in 35 innings. The success continued with the Cubs, for whom he had a 1.15 ERA in 39 innings. Back with the Rangers in 2019, Chavez figures to be a key piece in the bullpen.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Delino DeShields Jr.: Will start in center field
Rangers manager Chris Woodward plans for DeShields to start in center field, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
The Rangers recently signed veteran Ben Revere to a minor-league contract and have discussed using Joey Gallo in center field, but Woodward put to rest any thought of DeShields in a backup role. "He's a dynamic player," Woodward said. "He's worked really hard. If he gets right, he could be the catalyst for our team. He puts a lot of pressure on defenses." There was some doubt DeShields would be around in 2019 after he plunged to a .216 batting average and .310 on-base percentage last season. Wanting to be more than an on-base guy, DeShields' plate approach got messed up as he tried to lift the ball more. The 25-year-old was twice demoted to the minors as a result. Coaches have worked on getting him to hit more line drives and groundballs, so that he can be the catalyst Woodward talked about.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Chase d'Arnaud: Could miss two weeks
D'Arnaud will be sidelined for 10-to-14 days due to a strained left oblique, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
This is a tough break for d'Arnaud, who was already on the outside looking in at an Opening Day roster spot. When healthy, the veteran will compete for a bench role, though he seems more likely to open the season in the minors. Even if injuries open up an avenue to playing time with the big club, d'Arnaud's career wRC+ of 59 suggests he won't do much with the opportunity.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Hunter Pence: Dealing with minor shoulder issue
Pence is expected to miss the Rangers' first full-squad workout due to a sore right shoulder, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
The injury isn't thought to be anything overly serious, and Pence is expected to take a few days off before returning to action. Once healthy, the veteran outfielder will compete for a bench role during camp. Pence hit just .226/.258/.332 in 97 games last season.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Ben Revere: Lands NRI deal with Texas
Revere signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers on Sunday that includes an invitation to spring training, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
The veteran outfielder spent last season in the Angels' organization, slashing .277/.319/.406 in 40 games for their Triple-A affiliate before breaking his foot and being released in July. Revere will compete for a reserve outfielder role with Texas, though it's a bit of a long shot given his declining speed and defensive capabilities.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' James Jones: Inks minor-league deal with Texas
The Rangers re-signed Jones to a minor-league contract, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Jones will continue his transformation from outfielder to pitcher, one that started in 2016. Injuries and wildness have impacted that transition. The 30-year-old left-hander owns a 7.61 ERA while giving up 53 hits and 23 walks over 36.2 innings.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Jeff Mathis: Likely to play often
The Rangers want Mathis to start more than half of their games behind the plate, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
That's a pretty big ask of a catcher that turns 36 during the first week of the season. Mathis' most starts as a catcher occurred in 2008 when he made 90. Since then, his career path has been as a dependable backup. If Mathis can't hold up, then the Rangers will be asking a lot from Isiah Kiner-Falefa, an infielder turned catcher.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Adam Moore: Invited to Rangers' camp
Moore signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers on Thursday which includes an invitation to spring training, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
Moore spent the majority of last season at Triple-A, hitting just .219/.260/.347 in 58 games with Durham. The veteran backstop owns a career .199/.239/.312 slash line across parts of nine major-league seasons (104 games).... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Mike Minor: Expected to start Opening Day
Minor is expected to be the Rangers' Opening Day starter, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Manager Chris Woodward didn't fully commit to an Opening Day plan but indicated that he would prefer Minor to start. Plans could change if the lefty is traded, as was rumored earlier in the winter, but expect him to get the nod if still on the team. The Rangers' rotation is older than one might expect for a rebuilding team but contains no one that resembles a true ace. Minor's 4.18 ERA last season makes him a more reliable candidate than any of Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller or Edinson Volquez.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa: To stick with catching
The Rangers plan to have Kiner-Falefa concentrate more on catching than the infield in 2019, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Telegram reports.
Kiner-Falefa made 35 starts behind the plate in 2018 and appears headed for significant time as a catcher this coming season. Jeff Mathis, who will turn 36 in March, will be the primary catcher, but he hasn't played more than 73 games since 2011. The Rangers also have Jose Trevino, a defense-first catcher in the minors who made his major league debut last June, but he's expected to start the season at Triple-A Nashville. That means Kiner-Falefa should get plenty of time to hone his work defensively. The question is whether the bat holds up under the strain of catching 70-80 games. He batted .262 with a .599 OPS as a backstop in 2018.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Hunter Pence: Invited to Rangers' camp
Pence signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers on Thursday which includes an invitation to spring training.
Pence isn't ready to call it quits yet, though he was forced to settle for a minor-league deal after turning in a career-worst campaign in 2018 (.226/.258/.332 with four homers in 97 games). The veteran outfielder was more than 40 percent worse than a league average hitter last season (59 wRC+), so he seems unlikely to make an impact at the major-league level entering his age-36 season.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Ricardo Rodriguez: Expected to miss start of season
Rodriguez (shoulder) will not be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
Rodriguez -- who recently signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers -- underwent shoulder surgery back in December, and his recovery is expected to carry into the 2019 campaign. The right-hander will likely report to Triple-A once healthy, though he could work his way to the majors if he holds his own at the highest level of the minors. Across parts of two big-league seasons, Rodriguez owns a 5.49 ERA and 14:5 K:BB in 19.2 innings of relief.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Ricardo Rodriguez: Back with Texas
Rodriguez came to terms Tuesday with the Rangers on a minor-league contract, Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Dropped from the 40-man roster in November after the Rangers declined to tender him a contract for 2019, Rodriguez wasn't able to procure an MLB deal from the league's other 29 teams and ultimately opted to return to Texas for another season. His new contract likely includes an invitation to major-league spring training, where he'll have the opportunity to compete for a bullpen gig. The hard-throwing right-hander has posted some intriguing numbers in the high minors but was less impressive across 20 big-league appearances between 2017 and 2018, compiling a 5.49 ERA and 14:5 K:BB in 19.2 innings.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' David Carpenter: Picked up by Texas
Carpenter agreed to a minor-league contract with the Rangers on Monday, Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball reports.
Carpenter last pitched as a part of Arizona's farm system during the 2017 season, although he struggled to a 9.90 ERA with seven strikeouts in 10 frames as a reliever at Triple-A Reno. The 33-year-old reliever figures to provide Texas with organizational depth and will likely start the season at Triple-A Nashville.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Matt Davidson: Lands in Texas
Davidson agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers on Friday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Davidson talked about pursuing a two-way role with the White Sox before being non-tendered by the team in November, and it sounds as though the Rangers are interested in exploring that idea. The 27-year-old's .226/.295/.435 career line isn't good enough to earn regular at-bats for a player limited to the infield corners defensively, but if he can eat some innings out of the bullpen as well he'd likely deserve a roster spot. He's retired nine of the 11 batters he's faced in the big leagues thus far, though that sample is obviously far too small to conclude that he'll be a viable option on the mound.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' Jason Hammel: Heads to Texas
Hammel signed a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training with the Rangers on Friday.
Hammel spent the last two seasons in Kansas City but the Royals declined his option in October, making him a free agent. The 36-year-old struggled with a 5.59 ERA and 1.51 WHIP for the Royals, allowing 44 home runs over 307.1 innings. The veteran right-hander will undoubtedly be looking for a bounce-back season if he can manage to crack the Opening Day roster.... See More ... See Less
Rangers' John Andreoli: Bumped from 40-man roster
Andreoli was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday.
Andreoli was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in mid-January but will return to the waiver wire as the team needed room on the 40-man roster for the signing of reliever Shawn Kelley. Andreoli split 2018 -- his first season in the majors -- between Baltimore and Seattle, slashing .230/.284/.262 in 67 plate appearances.... See More ... See Less