Monday Newsletter time: Moving day for Texas Rangers prospects means spring innings have become precious
The end of camp is nearing for minor-leaguers and major-leaguers who need to play more in Cactus League games.
The end of the line arrived Sunday for a group of Texas Rangers prospects, who were moved from big-league spring training to minor-league camp to begin preparing for the regular season.
The season at Triple A Round Rock begins April 5, which is in — hello — eight days. The seasons at the other three full-season affiliates begin April 8.
That’s also when the Rangers open their season at Toronto. Players with a chance at the Opening Day roster are starting to need all the available innings in Cactus League games, another reason for the roster cuts.
The biggest name sent out was Leody Taveras, a move that leaves center field to Adolis Garcia and puts the focus Eli White, Nick Solak and Jake Marisnick for two roster spots.
The swing changes he has been asked to make apparently are too significant for him to master in only a week.
Taveras was optioned to Round Rock. Infielder Ezequiel Duran was optioned to Double A Frisco. They are on the 40-man roster.
Seven internal camp invites were reassigned to minor-league camp: outfielder Bubba Thompson, catcher Matt Whatley, infielders Davis Wendzel and Josh Smith, and right-handers Chase Lee, Daniel Robert and Jesus Tinoco.
The play of Thompson, Wendzel and Smith is a highlight of camp.
Their assignments are pending, but expect Thompson, Wendzel and Tinoco to be at Round Rock. Robert and Smith could be there, too, but that decision is pending. Lee and Whatley finished last season at Frisco.
Speaking of Smith …
It’s not so much what Smith did Saturday that caught the attention of Twitter, but what happened seconds after his home run cleared the fence at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
A fan really wanted that ball and darn near had it. There was just one problem. Look below.
Ah, the joys of spring-training baseball and alcohol.
The crowds have been mostly disappointing this spring, thanks to the lockout ruining most fans’ plans to travel to Arizona or Florida. The hope here is they all come back in 2023.
Spring training is a great trip for the baseball-loving family or a guys trip that might involve some golf. Bring a glove and watch out for trash cans.
Things have started to calm down a little after a frenetic opening to spring training, which on my end coincided with my work for Frogs Today as TCU went to the NCAA Tournament. I actually wrote only one story Saturday. Crazy. It ran Sunday. If you’ve been as busy as I have, we’ve got you covered with the latest from the Rangers Newsletter in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Projecting the Rangers’ Opening Day roster
Friday on the Farm: Max Acosta needs to play
T.R.’s Memoirs: Looking back on past spring heroes
Well, he asked for it. He didn’t know what he was getting into. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.