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2020 Texas Rangers Offseason

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No one knows. Obviously Bob & Ray are begging, but our state hasn’t exactly proven to be smart enough for it yet. 

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Here’s Jeff Wilson on the fans & shit. 

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Major League Baseball isn’t yet prepared to unveil its 60-game schedule for 2020 as it monitors COVID-19 spikes nationwide and considers if it would be safe to play games in certain cities.

That includes Arlington, where the Texas Rangers are dealing with their own outbreak in the offices at Globe Life Field. Nevertheless, the Rangers expect to open the season July 24 and hope to do so at their new $1.2 billion home with fans in the stands.

While MLB will be mindful of local ordinances, the league will have a say in that decision, too.

“The commissioner has made no decisions regarding permitting fans at games,” MLB said in a statement. “The decision will be based both on whether local health authorities approve fans to attend games and whether our medical advisors believe it is appropriate to do so.”

The statement appears to be a shift in position by MLB, which last week was leaning toward letting local health officials work with clubs on allowing fans while staying largely in the background. Last Wednesday, the Rangers said they were working toward a plan that would allow them to fill 50% of their 40,000 seats, per the current phase of the governor’s Reopen Texas plan.

By Friday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations began to rise statewide and Gov. Greg Abbott ordered instituted rollback measures to the state’s reopening plan. Bars were closed, restaurant capacity was reduced to 50% and outside gatherings of more than 100 people without the approval of local officials were banned.

Sports venues can hold far more than 100 people, but the Reopen Texas task force did not make changes to guidelines for professional sports leagues.

Not only would fans be in Globe Life Field, so would ushers, concession workers, cooks, wait staff, security and others required to stage an MLB game.

The safety protocols MLB is taking for players and club personnel are extensive, as detailed in the league’s 113-page operations manual. Adding fans would make safety a massive undertaking.

“We’re working with the understanding that we could have fans in the building beginning on Opening Day,” Rangers executive vice president Rob Matwick said last week. “It is based on local jurisdiction, but we are also part of a league. They do have some input and we want that input.”

The original 2020 schedule called for the Rangers to open the season with four games at Seattle before returning for the home opener March 31. The quick trip was designed to give the Rangers time to iron out any wrinkles with their new home after two exhibition games there March 23-24.

A March 14 concert, the Chris Stapleton All-American Road Show, was also canceled.

Because of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Rangers have nearly completed the punch list of unfinished items once the ballpark reached substantial completion in early March. They believe the shutdown has given them time to make Globe Life Park game-ready.

Players who live locally started working out at Globe Life Field in April, and the ballpark was the host for dozens of graduation ceremonies beginning in late May.

Last week, multiple employees who work in the Rangers’ offices attached to the ballpark tested positive for COVID-19. The offices were sanitized over the weekend will be closed to most employees until Wednesday while employees are tested.

No players, coaches or baseball operations personnel are among those who were infected. Spring training 2.0 begins Friday after all 55 players and coaches receive the results of the required intake testing for COVID-19.

 

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Gonna post this here.

Some of you maybe aware of Skyler.  If he was in charge of the Rangers and Mavs unis I'd be a lot happier.  

Proceeds from these shirts go to benefit North Texas Food Bank and Bonton Farms which is an amazing org if you haven't heard of them.

 

I love the throwback logo.  Cheaper than anything you'll get at the fan shop

 

 

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4 hours ago, Post Oak said:

Gonna post this here.

Some of you maybe aware of Skyler.  If he was in charge of the Rangers and Mavs unis I'd be a lot happier.  

Proceeds from these shirts go to benefit North Texas Food Bank and Bonton Farms which is an amazing org if you haven't heard of them.

 

I love the throwback logo.  Cheaper than anything you'll get at the fan shop

 

 

I'd love to get that powder blue version for Sunday games.  

 

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I really hope MLB draws a line and says either fans in all or no fans at all. But I'll admit, it's for selfish reasons. I want to be there for the first game at Globe Life Field but I'm having second thoughts on showing up this summer. A new ballpark deserves a full stadium for game 1.

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On 7/1/2020 at 7:28 PM, HRSchenker said:

I really hope MLB draws a line and says either fans in all or no fans at all. But I'll admit, it's for selfish reasons. I want to be there for the first game at Globe Life Field but I'm having second thoughts on showing up this summer. A new ballpark deserves a full stadium for game 1.

I think fans should show up at the old ballpark instead.

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Brett Martin tested positive for COVID today. Emily Jones also just tweeted that her house has come down with it but didn't specify who. Scary shit guys.

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This is great news, glad they finally pulled their heads out. 

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The Rangers’ first-base position is still to be decided here in Summer Camp.

Add Nick Solak to the list of candidates. He is expected to get playing time at first base over the next three weeks. He also will see time in center field, third base and second base, but the Rangers appear intrigued by the possibility of Solak at first.

“I'm going to try everything I can to get him into the lineup,” manager Chris Woodward said Saturday. “I am not ruling any spot out as an everyday spot. I think first base, there is an opening there. First base is definitely a spot I am going to get him some action.”

Ronald Guzmán and Greg Bird have been listed as the leading candidates at first base, but neither has yet to seize the job. Guzmán was 7-for-33 (.212) and Bird was 3-for-29 (.103) in Cactus League games in Spring Training.

Both are also left-handed hitters. If Solak can handle first base, he could at least give the Rangers a right-handed option and allow Todd Frazier to be anchored at third base.

Solak’s best position is second, and he never has played first as a professional. But he has been taking ground balls there while working out at Globe Life Field during the shutdown.

“As I made sure I was getting my ground balls at second and third, I was also bouncing over to first base,” Solak said. “Just seeing balls off the bat at that angle, working around the bag just to get some time over there.”

The Rangers have high regard for Solak’s offensive potential. Getting him into the lineup might be a challenge for Woodward, but Solak must also earn his time. He played in only 33 games for the Rangers as a rookie last season while hitting .293/.393/.491.

He was 7-for-36 (.194) in Spring Training while spending much of the early portion of the Cactus League in center field.

“I had wanted to see what center field looked like and didn't want to distract him for the first couple of weeks of camp and games,” Woodward said. “But we had planned to get him some work at first base.

“His offense is a threat, but he's still got a lot to prove at this level. Do I believe in Nick Solak? Yes, for sure. I've been really impressed, but he's still got things to prove. I've told our guys that if a guy gets hot, I'm going to ride that guy a little bit."

 

He’s listed at 5’11”, which he’s not, but Prince was also a fake 5’11”. Santana is listed as the same height, he played there plenty last year. 

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I want Solak in the lineup every day.  If it's at DH and 1B and 2B then fine.

I understand that elite defense at 1st isn't as important as I thought so it may be a good fix

I'd like Guzman to take a step this year but that's probably unlikely 

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With the expanded rosters to start, we could carry Condor & just put him at 1B in the 7th with a lead. 

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Grant’s notes from today, Condor may be Rona’d out of the competition. 

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The Case of the Missing Rangers is now officially a mystery.

For the second consecutive day, neither Joey Gallo nor Ronald Guzman appeared to participate in workouts with the team after baseball’s four-month shutdown.

Neither player appeared on the field during the three-hour window the workout was open to media. Reversing course from a day earlier, the Rangers opted not to provide lists of those players who participated in morning workouts. Instead, a club spokesman said only that players are still going through COVID-19 intake testing protocols.

According to health privacy laws, the Rangers may not disclose that a player has the coronavirus without first obtaining the player’s permission. Reliever Brett Martin acknowledged Friday that he has the virus but claimed to be feeling significantly better. A handful of players on other teams, including Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, also confirmed they had tested positive for the virus.

On Friday, the Rangers acknowledged that 42 of 56 players who had reported for camp had worked out. On Saturday, the number seemed to be eight. Five of those players had been on a charter flight from Latin America that didn’t get them to Texas until Wednesday evening. They did not start the testing protocols until Thursday.

The other three: Gallo, Guzman and pitcher Kyle Gibson, who, as an ulcerative colitis patient, suffers a higher risk of complications if he contracts the disease. The club did announce that Gibson was scheduled to pitch in the next two days. 

If a player tests positive for the virus, he must be fever-free and test negative twice over a period of at least 24 hours before he can be permitted to rejoin the team.

Corey’s secret: Corey Kluber, who threw 85 pitches worth of a simulated game Saturday, spent two weeks in Florida during the shutdown facing the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt in secret star-studded workouts.

Claiming he and his family needed a “break,” they left Massachusetts in early May for a home they have in Florida. There, Kluber hooked up with trainer Eric Cressey, of whom he’s long been a devoted client. Cressey’s Sports Performance gyms are a haven for many stars. As he started to get ready for live batting practice, Kluber took part in a couple of “secret” games – “Fight Club,” as Cressey dubbed it – with other pitchers such as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

“It was snowing, I think, when we left Massachusetts,” Kluber said. “I needed a break for baseball. Everybody in the family needed a mental break. The time I was down there, it couldn’t have worked out any better. They have such a good thing going down there. To have the guys I faced is kind of the norm. It’s really not out of the ordinary. And we were all in the same boat.”

In five innings Saturday, Kluber was credited with only one walk and seven strikeouts. He did, however, allow a homer to outfielder Leody Taveras, the next-to-last hitter he faced.

Briefly: LHP Mike Minor also pitched in the simulated game, going four innings on 77 pitches. He was credited with 10 strikeouts and one walk. Minor had been scheduled to pitch Friday, but waiting for intake testing results pushed him back a day. It will eliminate a planned day off for him on July 12, when all pitchers were to get a day, but it will allow him to remain on schedule. … OF Eli White homered off RHP Derek Law in the intrasquad game. … LHP Taylor Hearn pitched an inning, allowing a walk and striking out two.

 

Kinda cool about Kluber’s Fight Club. 

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1 hour ago, Dr Fear said:

Interesting most of the west coast games are at 8 instead of 9.

And our weeknight home games against everybody but Hou will be 8 instead of 7. 

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And our weeknight home games against everybody but Hou will be 8 instead of 7. 
That must be a pacific/central time zone comprise.

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8 hours ago, Jive Turkey said:

Gallo got the Rona. Confirmed by multiple tests now.

 

24 homers apart? That doesn’t even make sense, but I think he can do it. 

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You’re a little late to the party, that was announced a couple weeks ago. They have to limit travel as much as possible. 

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Today’s notes. 

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First baseman Ronald Guzmán has cleared the intake testing process and was able to join the Rangers’ Summer Camp workouts on Wednesday.

Now he has to win a job against Greg Bird and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. As manager Chris Woodward mulls his options at the corner infield spots, Kiner-Falefa is once again making a serious bid to be more than a utility infielder.

“Every day that's going by, he's making it more and more [possible],” Woodward said. “You see the changes in his body, the changes in his swing, and it's hard for me to not have him in the lineup. All I can ask is for every player to approach their role that way.”

Todd Frazier’s versatility allows Kiner-Falefa the chance to unseat Guzmán and Bird at first base. If Kiner-Falefa forces himself into the lineup, it likely would be at third base, with Frazier moving to first.

Guzmán may have been the leading candidate when Spring Training started back in February, but that status is disappearing. He was 7-for-33 in the Cactus League and was 0-for-2 with a walk during an intrasquad game Wednesday.

“We all need to see it,” Woodward said. “I need to see it. I need to see him in there competing in the batter's box. With him and Bird, we've got a decision to make at third. Earlier, I didn't rule out the idea of moving Frazier over to first. At this point, in a 60-game season, we're going to take the guy that's ready to go the best. If that means the way Kiner is playing, he's putting a lot of pressure on both those guys, and it's a good thing.”

Bird was 3-for-29 in the Cactus League and was hitless in his first 12 at-bats in intrasquad games at Globe Life Field in Summer Camp before going 2-for-3 over the past two days.

“I love Guzy's defense, and Bird's really been impressive defensively,” Woodward said. “So, we know the defense over there we're comfortable with. But the at-bats, we need to see those. Guzy needs his at-bats right now. He needs to force us to make a decision one way or the other.”

Kiner-Falefa batted .378 (14-for-37) in Spring Training and has picked up in Arlington. He had two hits on Wednesday and is 6-for-11 over five intrasquad games at Globe Life Field.

Kiner-Falefa spent the three-month shutdown at his home in Honolulu, working out in his backyard and restoring his psyche with long walks on various Oahu beaches.

“Yeah, I was kind of on edge a little bit in the beginning, because my spring was going so well,” Kiner-Falefa said. “But just being able to go to the beach and wind down kind of helped me just stay ready. I think I would have been pounding my head into the wall if the beach wasn't there. Just being able to let loose and relax and enjoy everything that Hawaii has to offer just really gave me the mind of coming back and helping the team out.”

——

Outfielder Scott Heineman had a double Wednesday and is 6-for-10 with two doubles and a home run in Summer Camp.

https://www.mlb.com/rangers/news/ronald-guzman-joins-rangers-camp

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Schedule should keep the Rangers mathematically in playoff contention until mid August.

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