The Texas Rangers aren’t inducing many positive feelings these days. They’re facing the worst team in the majors, the Chicago White Sox, and have lost two of the first three games of a four-game series.
But there are still storylines and reasons to pay attention. Saturday brought us the debut of Ariel Jurado, the 22-year-old right-hander from Panama who was pitching well at Double A Frisco.
Jurado had his moments, but couldn’t make it through five innings. He took the loss in the Rangers’ 5-3 loss to the White Sox. Time for some reaction –
1. Another start? Jeff Banister wouldn’t commit to Ariel Jurado getting another start. It’s understandable why the manager wouldn’t want to make such a declaration in the minutes following a game.
But it seems like there are more reasons to give Jurado another start than not. Outside of giving up four runs in the third, Jurado pitched well enough to get outs at this level.
As Banister said, “The kid showed a lot of moxie tonight. He showed us everything that our scouts and development people told us. Love what we saw. I’m sure there’s a lot of learning experiences for him. He needs to feel good about himself, about what he showed us tonight. There’s so many more positives for me with him and this situation tonight, but we’ll have discussions and we’ll see where this takes us.”
2. Memorable moment. Jurado didn’t have much time to soak in the magnitude of being called up to the big leagues.
He found out Thursday from Double A Frisco manager Joe Mikulik, and caught a flight to Chicago on Friday.
What a moment for a pitcher who signed with the organization as a teenager out of Panama in 2012. Jurado has been on a fast track through the minor league system ever since.
“You always dream like that, but I really didn’t have a chance to think about it,” Jurado said. “I know I came quick because I did my job in the minors. I think I did what I had to do and that’s why I got this opportunity.”
Jurado received a ball afterward from his first career strikeout. He got Leury Garcia swinging in the second inning.
Jurado said he’ll give it to his mom and dad.
3. What’s up with Perez? Sunday is the three-week mark since left-hander Martin Perez last pitched. He’s on the disabled list with “right elbow discomfort,” and there is still no timeline for his return.
"It takes time for those things to heal,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I haven’t gotten any report that it’s anything more than we’ve reported."
Whenever he’s ready to return, Perez will have to build his arm strength back up and make multiple rehab assignments. He didn’t have a promising start to the season, going 2-3 with a 9.67 ERA in five starts.
4. Profar’s bat. Jurickson Profar is doing damage at the plate as of late. He matched his career-high with three RBIs on Friday, and continued swing his bat well Saturday.
Profar had an RBI double in the second inning, and drove in another run in the third with a sacrifice fly.
Profar is batting .272 so far on the road trip.
5. Eyes on Minor. Mike Minor had a three-year layoff between big-league starts coming into this season. It’ll be interested to see how he responds Sunday coming off his worst start of the season.
Minor, 30, allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings at Seattle on Tuesday. He’d gone at least six innings in his previous three starts.
Facing a White Sox team that has one of the worst offenses in the league should be a welcomed sight. Plus, Minor has had success against the White Sox in his career.
In five relief appearances against them last season, he had a 1.59 ERA. In his lone start against them on July 21, 2013, Minor allowed three runs (two earned) over eight innings in a losing effort.