The Texas Rangers-Anaheim Angels game has been over about an hour, and the press box TVs are still tuned to Fox Sports One. That channel’s version of SportsCenter — Fox Sports Live — is on, and has prompted me to wonder if anyone watches that channel unless a live event is on.
Apparently not, as buyouts were offered earlier this year across the Fox family. A big chunk of folks at Fox Sports Southwest accepted, which leaves them no better than most TV stations, radio stations and newspapers these days — short-handed and asked to do more for the same pay.
The FS1 thing has been a financial sinkhole. Taking on ESPN is probably not the smartest thing to do, even though the Worldwide Leader is hardly perfect. Some of that programming is terrible, too, but the people crave sports news and opinion.
There was plenty of that available Monday at Globe Life Park.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a busy day that ended with a 2-0 loss.
1. The big news Monday all took place before the game, when Shin-Soo Choo and Drew Stubbs hit the disabled list, Jared Hoying and Joey Gallo hit the active roster, and Josh Hamilton might have hit the end of the road.
Choo was frustrated to land back on the disabled list, an injury he didn’t think was serious but was told would become really serious if he continued playing. He also became frustrated with the media after something was lost in translation.
(The most admirable quality that players who aren’t from the United States have is that they have learned English and attempt to speak their second language to the media, even though most don’t speak English perfectly.
Learning English is a matter of survival for them after being fully immersed in an English-speaking country. Nevertheless, they deserve to take a bow for their efforts and should be recognized for it, especially when not many Rangers media members speak a second language.
If they do it’s Spanish. Forget Korean or Japanese.)
Choo’s loss will be felt until Rougned Odor’s suspension is finally served. Choo was expected to become the leadoff hitter upon his return, and he was for three innings Friday before his hamstring tightened up on him. With Odor and Choo out, the Rangers could turn to Elvis Andrus there or maybe even Nomar Mazara.
Hoying would be the story on another day. His big-league debut is at least two years overdue. The Rangers opted to not promote him during their injured-ravaged 2014 season, when it seemed like anyone else with a pulse and a hot bat got a look.
Hoying didn’t get a spot, the result of a crowded 40-man roster, and general manager Jon Daniels said that having to tell that to Hoying was one of the most difficult conversations of his career.
20 Extra base hits, including seven homers, for Jared Hoying in 41 games at Triple A Round Rock
Daniels said that the decision Monday was an easy call after Hoying, who turned 27 last week, batted .319 with seven homers, 20 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, 13 steals and a .550 slugging percentage in 41 games at Round Rock.
The Gallo move could be temporary, very temporary, as in until Odor begins serving his suspension. That could be Tuesday. The Rangers could then go to Jurickson Profar as Odor’s fill-in, and send Gallo back down to Triple A.
Gallo came of the disabled list Thursday and went 5 for 16 with a homer and four RBIs in four games. Tuesday, though, might be a good spot to use him in left field, though he hasn’t played there this season, against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
Expect Ryan Rua, though.
Hamilton, however, isn’t coming to the roster.
2. Instead, Hamilton will head to Houston in a couple weeks for another surgery on his left knee. The June 8 procedure will knock him out for a season he was never in, but he has assured the Rangers he will play in 2017.
Maybe, but the evidence appears to suggest that he won’t. If he does, it appears as though there is a good chance it won’t be for the Rangers.
Most teams deal with a roster crunch at the end of a season, as they bring players off the 60-day disabled list and add more players to the 40-man roster from the minors to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Sure, they lose free agents from the 40-man, but it’s still a crunch.
That’s where Hamilton’s spot on the team could be in jeopardy. The Rangers have plenty of outfield depth in the system, players who while inexperienced figure to be healthy. I can make a case for five players — outfielders Lewis Brinson, Ryan Cordell and Jairo Beras and pitchers Ariel Jurado and Sam Wolff — who need protection from the Rule 5 draft.
50 Games Josh Hamilton played last season for the Rangers after only 89 in 2014 with the Angels
A healthy Hamilton, at only the $2 million the Rangers have to play him in 2017, is a no-brainer. But there’s no such thing as a healthy Hamilton any more.
It’s too bad, too, because he was so fun to watch for his first five years with the Rangers. He should have never left, as hindsight tells us, but it seemed like a mistake for a player with such a unique situation as his when he pulled the trigger on the five-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.
The Rangers weren’t going to break the bank on him, but they were willing to give him quite a bit.
No one is rooting against Hamilton. It’s just hard to see him playing providing significant contributions — or any contributions — again.
3. Derek Holland, though, should be with the Rangers in 2017. The club option on him is a reasonable $11 million, and his pitching this season has been worth that price, relative to the going rate for pitchers these days, with the exception of one really miserable outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Those 11-run outings in 2 2/3 innings are ERA killers. He gets a pass in my book on the rain-interrupted start against the Chicago White Sox.
Otherwise, Holland has been good, even though he calls himself the rotation’s weak link. He wasn’t saying that Monday, when he reminded the media that he’s had just the one bad start and hasn’t been worried about his performance.
3.27 Derek Holland’s ERA not including the 11-run start over 2 2/3 innings May 5 at Toronto
Monday’s start was his seventh allowing three runs or less. He’s made nine starts. He matched his longest start of the season, at 6 2/3 innings, and it was his most efficient, at 99 pitches.
He said the movement on his pitches was the best it’s been all season. He actually struck out four batters.
Holland was undone by two not-so-good pitches, a hanging off-speed pitch that Mike Trout roped into the left-field corner for a double and a center-cut fastball a few pitches later to Albert Pujols, who hit the 569th homer of his career.
According to my replies to my tweets, Holland has to be the least popular Rangers player. There have been calls for him to go to the bullpen and to go to Triple A and to go to hell. But he’s not going to any of those places.
Cesar Ramos isn’t keeping his rotation spot over Holland once Yu Darvish returns. A.J. Griffin hasn’t even thrown off a mound yet as he deals that a shoulder injury, so Holland isn’t about to lose his job to Griffin.
This is a baseball season. It’s a long haul, and over the long haul, Holland is going to be a good starting pitcher. He already has been this season and will be in 2017.