For the first time in 40 years, the Texas Rangers have gone three consecutive days in a season without playing due to weather-related issues. Therefore, we’re taking the extra time to check the pulse of the fan base as the team waits one more day to hopefully begin their three-game series in the Bronx.
Some fans seem annoyed at the loss of two days more importantly, “momentum”. Do you think these three days off will have any impact on team play at all?
It’s hard to say. If anything, this might be a good challenge this team embraces. They’ve had to face the challenge of getting over a 2-9 start, and have gone 8-5 since. Last year, the road was a constant thorn in the team’s side, and they’ve gone 6-5 away from Arlington this year. Now, they have to sit on their hands for three days, then play 16 games in 15 days.
The baseball season is a grind, filled with physical and mental challenges. The teams that learn to consistently overcome adversity stand a better chance of performing at a high level in the long run.
Chris, do you have the magic to make the rain go away?
-Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX)
I actually had the power to impact the weather while I lived 40 minutes outside New York City in northern New Jersey. However, it’s been 23 years since I’ve lived there, so that magic has unfortunately worn off. Sorry Alex.
Mar 31, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; A tarp covers the infield during a rain delay before a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Jul 8, 2020; Bronx, New York, United States; A general view of the Yankee Stadium during a rain storm during summer workouts at Yankee Stadium.
May 3, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (5) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
What are your predictions for the dates we’ll see Cole Winn, Sam Huff, Leody Taveras and Josh Smith make it to Arlington (for an extended period of time)?
This is the order you’ll likely see call-ups for consistent playing time: Taveras, Huff, Winn, Smith.
Taveras could be with the big-league team any day now. He’s hit the ball very well for Round Rock and he could help the team defensively and on the bases. Huff has already made a trip to the big leagues and is also hitting well in Triple A. The Rangers might want to see a bigger sample size considering his performance in the minors last season. But his strong start this year is certainly encouraging.
Winn and Smith are further down the road. I’m not even certain we’ll see either one this season. I say Winn ahead of Smith because of the constant need for pitching. Winn has performed well in Triple A thus far. If he continues that, he could become a legitimate option for a call-up if the Rangers need a starter later in the season.
Scroll to Continue
Smith certainly impressed a lot of people in spring training. As of the time this story is published, Smith owns a .722 OPS in 92 at-bats for Round Rock. The Rangers might want to get him extended at-bats there before he becomes a regular player in Arlington. 2023 is probably the earliest you would see him get a chance to do that.
The team seems to do better with both Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver in the lineup. What could the solution look like to get them both consistent plate appearances? I like moving Garver to DH and letting Heim catch (or vice versa).
-Scooter McGavin (@MrDavisPlease)
The most logical solution would be Sam Huff forcing the Rangers’ hand for a big-league call up. Manager Chris Woodward is playing with fire if he constantly has both of his catchers in the same lineup. But if Huff shows him and the rest of Rangers leadership that he can consistently handle the bat at the big league level, he’s worth a roster spot.
Roster spots are incredibly valuable, especially since active rosters are back at the typical 26 slots. If the Rangers seriously considered three catchers, they would all have to provide a ton of value to make it worth it. Versatility is key, and the only positions covered by that trio is catcher, DH and first base. Nathaniel Lowe will be at first every day, so you’re looking at DH being the only other position to employ on of those three.
Again, all three would have to provide serious offensive impact in order to make that scenario work. Right now, Garver and Heim are doing that, and Huff is hitting very well for Triple-A Round Rock and had a nice performance in his lone big league game this year.
While this scenario isn’t likely as of now, it’s not entirely impossible. It’s really up to Huff and consistent production from Garver and Heim.
Sep 23, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers catcher Sam Huff against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Sep 12, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras (3) hits an RBI triple during the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum.
May 1, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; A Rangers Six Shooter runs on top of the dugout prior to a game between the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves at Globe Life Field.
So Leody Taveras has been hitting very well in AAA, but his BABIP at .446 seems a little unsustainable, and his BB% is low at 5.5%. How do you think these numbers will translate at the big league level?
-Calhoun Squared SZN (@RangersSZN)
The BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is not sustainable, but it is a great indication of consistency. As far as the walks go, Taveras is much more aggressive at the plate this year, which is something the Rangers preach at the big league level—to be “on-go” on every single pitch. Taveras has the bat-to-ball skills to be aggressive, yet disciplined. He’s probably still learning how to walk that line, as are some players currently ahead of him on the big league team.
The great thing is he’s hitting at perhaps the highest level we’ve seen in his pro career. Once he gets his big-league call up, we’ll see how it plays. If he walks less than he did before but he hits drastically better, the Rangers will gladly take it.