The Texas Rangers have five home games left this season and 12 total. Not that anyone is counting.
Their Triple A affiliate has zero games remaining in Round Rock.
The long-awaited announcement that Nolan Ryan-owned franchise would not sign another player development agreement was delivered Monday, and precisely zero people with the Rangers were caught off guard.
The Ryans have a history of keeping things in the family, and with Ryan and son Reid drawing Houston Astros paychecks, this was inevitable.
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Next up for the Rangers is trying to find a new home for their Triple A team, and Nashville appears to be the preferred landing spot ahead of San Antonio and Fresno, where the Astros’ Triple A team has been.
Nashville has a lot going for it, namely a new ballpark within the past few seasons. Call-ups won’t be able to simply drive up I-35 anymore, but there are multiple daily flights from Nashville to DFW International Airport.
Pretty short flight, too.
As for what happened on the field Monday, here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay Rays.
1. After the really small sample size of two starts it is clear that the Rangers will want Adrian Sampson to pitch for them in 2019, maybe in the first time through the starting rotation.
He has been that good in 10 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have provided him with only one hit — hit, not run — of support in those 10 2/3 innings. And it was an infield hit.
Maybe Sampson won’t want to pitch for them after seeing them shut out on four hits in both of his starts.
Tyler Glasnow, who came over from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Chris Archer trade, handcuffed the offense, which was nearly no-hit last week when Sampson pitched at Anaheim.
Sampson allowed a run in the first as the first three Rays hitters opened single, single, single. He didn’t allow another run until Ji-Man Choi, his final batter, took him deep.
As was the case last week, the Rangers made some nice plays behind him. Sampson needs that, as he isn’t going to strike out a ton of batters but will keep the action moving by making hitters put the ball in play.
Defensive players like that, and so do beat writers.
After two starts, the Rangers like what they’ve seen from Sampson.
2. Robinson Chirinos was the subject of the Rangers lede for the Star-Telegram, and he didn’t even play. But he has played 100 games and with four more starts will have logged 100 starts this season.
Both are career-highs.
One of the easy off-season decisions the Rangers have is exercising the option on Chirinos’ deal. It’s for a mere $2,375,000, and the Rangers aren’t going to do any better via free agency or with an Isiah Kiner-Falefa-Carlos Perez duo next season.
Even 2020 is uncertain at catcher, with Jose Trevino missing half of the Double A season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. The good news is that it was his left/non-throwing shoulder that was injured while batting in his first game back at Frisco after his three-day call-up to the Rangers in June.
Will he and Kiner-Falefa be ready to handle catching duties in 2020? Another season of Chirinos might be in order.
But the Rangers might try to keep him on a year-to-year basis after 2019. Chirinos hasn’t been catching his entire career, but will turn 36 during the 2020 season. That might make the Rangers from talking about an extension with him.
For now, though, they should be encouraged with how durable Chirinos has been the past two seasons and the kind of quality person he is and teammate he has become. There’s also some power in the bat and some trust in him from the pitching staff.
Trouble controlling the running game? That can’t be pinned all on the catcher.
The Rangers know that, and they’re content with what they have in Chirinos.
Gallo needs three home runs for 40 and five for a career-high. He seems to be finding a bit of a groove, with homers in two of his past three games and 15 homers since the All-Star break.
Globe Life Park could be his last best chance to add to his homer total, with Angel Stadium in Anaheim and Safeco Field not exactly the most hitter-friendly parks around.
Gallo, though, is capable of homering anywhere. He has that kind of power, plus he homered twice at the notoriously pitcher-friendly Safeco Field over the weekend.
That assumes, of course, that the toe injury isn’t serious. He had checked out early from the clubhouse following the game, which is unusual for him.
If Gallo is healthy and as fans try to find reasons to watch the last 12 Rangers games of the season (not that anyone is counting), his power chase would be one reason.