The Rangers are 4-7 after their first full week of play in 2018 after losing two of three to the Blue Jays, including 7-4 Sunday at Globe Life Park. They'll have played 14 games before getting their first off day on Thursday before a three-game series against the Astros in Houston begins on Friday.
The bullpen could use a day off.
Texas relievers have already thrown 43 innings, which is, shockingly, fourth-most in the American League. The Angels are second in the the A.L. with 46 2/3 relief innings (behind the Orioles' 48, which includes 10 extra innings). So the Rangers/Angels series this week could be a Bullpen Fest. The Rangers, to their credit, have done a good job of spreading the relief innings around. Only Jesse Chavez (7 innings), Alex Claudio (6 1/3) and Kevin Jepsen (6) have pitched six or more innings. And right-hander Tony Barnette (lower back strain) could be close to returning from the disabled list.
Four thoughts from Sunday's loss to the Blue Jays:
1. Fatherly advice — Elvis Andrus heard it all, too. When he was preparing to become a first-time father last July, he was told over and over how much he would crave sleep as soon as the baby arrived. He passed along the words of wisdom to teammate Rougned Odor, whose girlfriend gave birth to their first child early Sunday morning.
"I gave him the same advice everyone gave to me: sleep!" Andrus said. "Even if a thousand people tell you, until you go through the process that’s when you actually realize it's true."
Odor, who did not get much sleep Saturday night, was, understandably, unavailable before or after the game. (He was probably passed out somewhere.) Banister gave Odor the option of not playing but Odor wanted to be in the lineup. He was 1 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch.
"That’s the best thing ever to happen for a human being and I know he’s really excited," Andrus said.
2. Speaking of Odor — When he was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the eighth inning on Sunday, he reacted with excitement and looked back to the Rangers' dugout and to perhaps Andrus, who was on-deck, with hopes of inspiring a rally with a clutched fist. The Rangers were down three runs and one big hit could have turned the game around. On Twitter, I tried to describe Odor's animated reaction by posting "he celebrated like it drove in the go-ahead run in the World Series." Some were confused and/or annoyed by my hyperbole. The crux of the issue, I think, is the use of the word 'celebrated.' A better word would have been 'reacted.' Because Odor did nothing wrong or in bad taste. In fact, that fiery personality is why he's appreciated by his coaches and teammates. I definitely was not condemning the show of emotion. Not at all. Maybe my World Series analogy was too extreme. That''s probably fair. But he was hit by a pitch on a cold day in early April and reacted quite strongly. And the World Series was the first thing that popped in my head. Isn't that why we have Twitter?
3. Beltre update — Adrian Beltre was 1 for 5 and left five men on base. His strikeout on a cutter off the plate was the second out in the seventh when the Rangers had the bases loaded and failed to score. (Joey Gallo popped out to end the inning.) But Beltre's lone hit was a sixth-inning double (his team-leading fifth) to the right-center gap. It's hit No. 3,059 and double No. 618. It's also career extra-base hit No. 1,117, which ties him with Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx for 20th all-time. He's two doubles shy of tying Albert Pujols (who will be in Arlington with the Angels Monday night) for 12th all-time. One more hit and he ties Craig Biggio for 23rd all-time.
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4. Big Bart —Bartolo Colon has made 539 major league appearances. Only 10 of those have been in a relief role. He made his 10th relief outing in the seventh inning Sunday against the Jays. The last time he came out of the bullpen was April 3, 2016 with the Mets against the Royals. Colon held Toronto to one hit and struck out four in two scoreless innings. He even covered first base and took the throw with ease on a ground out. Not bad for a guy who turns 45 next month.