Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: From Diekman to Springs, emotions run the gamut on deadline day

Thank goodness the nonwaiver trade deadline has ended. Now, brace yourselves for the waiver trading period.

Booooo!

It’s entirely possible that the Rangers continue making deals in August, though the procedures for making a trade change. Players have to clear revocable waivers to be available to all teams, or teams have 48 hour to work out a trade after a claim.

If no trade can be made, the player is usually pulled back.

It’s worth repeating that pretty much every MLB teams puts its players on waivers in August. The high-salary players will make it through, and August trades can make a difference.

The Houston Astros learned that last year when they acquired Justin Verlander.

The Texas Rangers beat Verlander on their five-game road trip that ended Tuesday night.

They needed a victory to finish with a perfect record. Hey, 4-1 isn’t bad.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 6-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks and a busy day.

1. The Rangers made only one trade Tuesday at the deadline, and it left a mark on the fan base and the player who was traded.

Jake Diekman went through quiet a bit during his time with the Rangers, but especially the past 18 months. He got engaged, decided that he needed to have three operations to rid his body of ulcerative colitis, returned to pitching in the majors, got married and learned he would be a father.

He is grateful to all the Rangers allowed him to do, and it showed as he spoke to a small group of Rangers media after he was shipped to the Diamondbacks.

Of course, he wasn’t shipped very far.

As Diekman explained it, he was going crazy at the team hotel, so he went to the ballpark really early only to go crazy there. As he was pacing around Chase Field before the deadline, his phone rang.

Jon Daniels was on the other line with the news: Diekman had been traded, to the other clubhouse.

“Walking around in the Ranger clubhouse was super depressing,” Diekman said. “These guys are very, very good. They’re right in the hunt. The next two or three months are going to be great.

“At 2:15, I walked out of the clubhouse, met the mascot, he helped me pack my bag into a golf cart, and then, I think, I don’t know, 250 feet later he dropped me off,” Diekman said. “Um, yeah.”

The guess here is that it might have felt a lot longer.



2. Daniels talked to the media at the team hotel for around 18 minutes about what had transpired Tuesday, Monday and really the entire month of July. He was pretty busy.

The Rangers acquired 11 players in five trades, 12 if you include Austin Jackson. Two of the 11 are in the bullpen, six are at various stops in the organization, and three will be by the end of August.

The biggest name the Rangers dealt away was Cole Hamels, who makes his Chicago Cubs debut Wednesday. The biggest return could be what the Pittsburgh Pirates send for Keone Kela.

The one known player from that deal is left-hander Taylor Hearn, who went to Royse City High and will report to Double A Frisco. He’s 6-foot-5 and throws his fastball at 98 mph.

That is a plus-pitch, Daniels said, and the changeup flashes plus. The slider is a work-in-progress.

Many of the reports online of Hearn say that his future is as a reliever, even though he has started all but one of his 37 games the past two seasons. The Rangers, though, intend to use groom him as a starter.

“We’re going to develop him as a starter and give him every chance to succeed in that role,” Daniels said. “We think he can start, and I have a very high degree of confidence he’d be a real impact reliever if it ever went down that path.

“Big, physical, intelligent left-hander with really competitive makeup. Throws three pitches for strikes, two of which we put plus grades on. Breaking ball has improved, can still improve, but there’s a lot of pitchers starting in the big leagues with lesser ability.”

Hearn is considered the Rangers’ No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline after being rated No. 7 in the Pirates’ organization.

Of all the players acquired, he’s The One to watch.



3. Bartolo Colon said that he isn’t worried when his next victory will come, though maybe he should be. The Rangers don’t seem to score much when he pitches, and he has been coughing up the runs in bunches of late.

He allowed five runs in five innings against the Diamondbacks and was denied career win No. 246, the one that will move him past Dennis Martinez for the most pitching victories by a native of Latin America.

It will happen as some point, right?

“I never get frustrated about it, and as I told you before, when it happens, it’s going to happen,” Colon said. “I don’t give it too much thought because it will be worse for me if I give it too much thought.”

The Rangers replaced the 45-year-old with 25-year-old Jeffrey Springs, called up earlier in the day to take the roster spot created by Diekman’s trade. Springs, also a left-hander, was said to be really nervous before the game and might have been in his first inning of work.

He walked two, though one was intentional, and allowed a run in a wild pitch in the sixth. But he recovered to work a scoreless seventh.

“You think about it so long, but until you actually get here, it’s pretty awesome,” said Springs, who started the day in Round Rock. “The performance could have been a little bit better, but it got a little bit better in the second. Overall, I’ll take it.”

Get used to seeing guys like Springs the rest of the season. That’s where the Rangers are right now, exposing young players to the major leagues to see if they can be a part of their future.

Fellow lefty Brady Feigl, who is 27 and was coming off Tommy John surgery when the Rangers acquired him in 2016, has pitched well enough for a look. Nick Gardewine, Ricky Rodriguez and Brandon Mann, who have pitched for the Rangers this season, could return.

Connor Sadzeck, who is on the 40-man roster, needs to get a look, and Chris Rowley, a recent waiver claim, might see time at some point.

Those are just the pitchers who could possibly get a call-up.

The clubhouse could get awfully crowded in September.

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