Friday Newsletter time: Look, Ma, no sling. Progress for Josh Jung as he makes most of Texas Rangers camp
The injured prospect has been in Arizona since early March and is very visible at big-league spring training.
Josh Jung has no idea when he will be able to begin baseball activities again, but he knows one thing: He has been freed from this sling.
The third baseman and one of the Texas Rangers’ top prospects no longer needs support for his surgically repaired left shoulder. Thursday was the four-week mark from the Feb. 23 operation that fixed a torn labrum.
Jung had been doing rehab on the shoulder to get the range of motion back again. He’s still expected to be out until August, so it’s not like he will take a drastic leap in the rehab process.
The Rangers kept Jung in big-league spring training to continue to soak up as much as he can from veteran players and coaches. He can be found in the middle of the action on the back fields at the Surprise Creation Campus.
Club officials wanted to give him a chance to experience big-league camp.
“We sent out a lot of the young guys. They had go play,” president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said. “We felt the biggest value for him right now is to be around your future teammates or potential future teammates and be around the staff and be around the medical staff. He's in the right place right now.”
Bird is the word
The following happened 21 years ago Thursday down the street from the Surprise Recreation Campus in Peoria.
That’s Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson, who threw really, really hard, unleashing a pitch as he normally would and a bird dive-bombing right into the pitch’s path.
The result is still amazing.
The Rangers beat writers have an unfortunate bird story, too. A little fella somehow made his way into the press box at Surprise Stadium the other morning and twice flew into windows as he tried to get back out.
He was becoming more alert on the window ledge after the second collision, with assistance from a noble writing soul, when he took his final flight … straight down to the seats below.
A moment of silence was held.
Card of the Week
For those of you who might already know this, I’m also doing work for a website called Frogs Today. Yes, it’s a site devoted to TCU sports, but it is not a fan site. News, features, opinions and a YouTube show with Brian Estridge, Voice of the Frogs.
Check it out.
So, my spring training plans were interrupted by the Horned Frogs’ berth in the NCAA Tournament. They played their first- and second-round games at San Diego State, where the most famous sports alumnus is Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn.
He was the Aztecs’ baseball coach until he passed because of cancer in 2014. The baseball field there is named after him.
The first regular-season big-league game I ever attended was in 1985 as the Cubs played the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium. I got Gwynn to autograph a baseball, along with others, and I still have it.
I didn’t realize it until about five years later.
Anyhoo, in honor of Gwynn, his 1983 Donruss rookie is the Card of the Week this week.
This guy knows he’s about to be the most popular dog on the block. Enjoy. See you Monday.