Thursday Newsletter time: Jose Trevino reminded of impact ballplayers can have after catching pupil passed away
Trevino is the Rangers' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to an MLB player who makes major contributions on and off the field.
A big-league player, whether he wants it or not, inherits a platform to do good things, and many do those good things.
Some do their charity work behind the scenes, through private donations or by quietly hosting a group at a ballgame. Others take their work into the public eye, hoping to raise awareness and funding for causes.
Many of those causes are related to helping children.
Jose Trevino understands that his job as a Texas Rangers catcher helps him bring visibility to causes he chooses to support. His parents taught him that, and he said his entire family believes in lending a helping hand.
His work with the West Side Helping Hand in Corpus Christi, where he went to high school and near his hometown of Alice, is geared to children having a merry Christmas. He created “Hip Hip Jose” t-shirts, with proceeds going to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. He has been involved in many other community efforts via the Rangers.
To that end, he was selected as the Rangers nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. Trevino wore Clemente’s No. 21 in high school after his coach said he played as hard as Clemente, and Trevino chose to wear the number Wednesday night on Roberto Clemente Day across the major leagues.
“Whether I win or not, I’ll forever be attached to this award as a nominee, and I’m very grateful for that,” Trevino said. “I know how hard my family has worked. We’re a giving family. We love to see people smile. We love to help people.”
Trevino also gives private catching lessons, and on Wednesday relayed the story of one of his former pupils who is no longer with us. Daniel Flagg, who was a catcher at Pilot Point High School, died in July in a drowning accident at Lake Ray Roberts.
When Trevino asked if from all the kids he has met there was one whose story really stuck out, he thought of Flagg. They formed a bond over catching, exchanged text messages, and Trevino considered Flagg a friend.
“He loved baseball, loved it,” Trevino said. “When I got the news that he had passed away, it hit home a little bit because we don’t realize how much of an impact we as professional athletes have on people. … I promised his family every time I took the field for the rest of my career that I’m going to honor him and his family.”
Arihara rocked, but …
Right-hander Kohei Arihara couldn’t get out of the fifth inning Wednesday against the Houston Astros, who connected for two homers in a three-run second and tacked on three more runs in the fourth and fifth.
Arihara was making his third start since coming off the injured list after having surgery to remove an aneurysm from his shoulder. He had been pretty good in the first two, albeit against Colorado and Arizona.
If the Rangers are Larry, Colorado and Arizona are Moe and Curly.
The Astros are very good, with arguably the best offense in baseball. They stick it to a lot of starting pitchers, and Arihara admitted that could have been behind an outing in which he said his mechanics were off.
“My fastball wasn’t very good,” Arihara said. “I couldn’t get any power behind it.”
Here’s another way to look at the start: It was Arihara’s worst with him not feeling the effects of the aneurysm.
He says things started going south for him in his fifth start of the season, April 25 at Chicago. He entered that start with a 3.11 ERA. He had a 3.38 ERA since returning from the IL.
His ERA in the three starts after the aneurysm started bugging him was 17.28. He allowed six runs Wednesday in four-plus innings, which is a 13.50 ERA.
So, healthy Arihara has a 4.02 ERA (14 earned runs in 31 1/3 innings). That’s not bad.
Arihara also has one year remaining on the two-year, $6.2 million contract he signed in December. The Rangers aren’t sure how many innings Arihara would be able to log coming off a season in which he missed more than three months, but they seem to believe he is more like the pitcher he has been when healthy.
He is in their plans for 2022.
“Yeah,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Yes. Yes.”
Plans can change, of course. The Rangers might find some better options via free agency or trade. They need roster spots this offseason, so maybe Arihara loses his via an outright release.
But the better free-agent pitching options might not want to come for another rebuilding season. Most of those promising young starters, either in the majors or in the minors, aren’t going to make the Opening Day roster, again leaving the Rangers short on innings from the rotation.
Glenn Otto has topped 100 innings and Taylor Hearn should before the season is out. Jake Latz might. That could put them in position for around 130 innings in 2020.
But A.J. Alexy won’t hit 100. Neither will Spencer Howard and Cole Winn.
Arihara and his 4.02 when-healthy ERA might look pretty good at $3.6 million.
It’s Thursday, which the savvy Texas Rangers Newsletter reader knows means it’s time to catch up in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Josh Jung (probably) isn’t coming up.
T.R.’s Memoirs: Rangers found a way home after 9/11.
Friday on the Farm: Bayron Lora focusing on baseball.
I know one thing: Those people aren’t getting that Jenga piece back. Enjoy. See you Friday.