Texas Rangers

Smyly allows back-to-back-to-back HRs in Rangers’ loss, but Woodward has his back

Chris Woodward discusses Smyly and Miller

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward on the rough outings by Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller in Sunday's loss to Oakland.
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Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward on the rough outings by Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller in Sunday's loss to Oakland.

From the draft front Tuesday, the Texas Rangers signed second-rounder Ryan Garcia, a right-hander from UCLA, and gave him $1,469,900 as the 50th overall pick.

He was at Globe Life Park on Tuesday night and already had his alarm set for 6:15 Wednesday morning. He will board a flight to Arizona shortly thereafter and begin his professional career with some time in Surprise before joining the Short-Season A Spokane.

Garcia threw a bunch of innings this spring for UCLA, so he’s only going to throw 20 or so this summer.

“It’s definitely the start of something new,” Garcia said. “I don’t really know what to expect, but it’s definitely exciting.”

And the excitement level for the game he watched Tuesday? Well ...

Reactions from the Rangers 10-3 loss to Cleveland

1. Everyone should have an advocate like each Rangers player, but especially Drew Smyly, has in manager Chris Woodward.

Woodward gave Smyly another endorsement Tuesday night after the left-hander allowed three home runs, all consecutively in the seventh inning in the span of five pitches, in his second relief appearance since losing his rotation spot.

“He hasn’t been starting, so I don’t know if that was just a decline in stamina,” Woodward said.

Smyly needed 32 pitches in his first inning, the fourth, when he allowed two runs.

“There was a lot of weak contact but left of some his pitches up,” Woodward said. “In the fifth and the sixth he actually looked pretty good.”

The Indians, Woodward explained, were a good matchup for Smyly with all their left-handed hitters and some switch hitters who don’t have a ton of pop from the right side.

Rangers Reaction does not have trained eye for the things that Woodward said he saw, but the overall picture has been really clear all season.

Smyly hasn’t been very good, and it’s going to be hard, even for Woodward, to defend that kind of pitching the rest of the season.

2. Adrian Sampson has hit a speed bump after winning five straight appearances. The Indians hit a lot of balls hard against him in only three innings, with Jose Ramirez’s three-run homer in the third causing the most damage.

FTW_IndiansRangers4
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson (52) delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (Special to the Star-Telegram/ Richard W. Rodriguez) Richard W. Rodriguez Special/ Richard W. Rodriguez

Sampson has allowed 11 earned runs in eight innings since a complete-game victory June 8 over the Oakland A’s. He has issued five home runs, which is alarming.

Woodward said that Sampson is healthy and could have continued, but his pitches weren’t sharp enough and misses were bad enough that another inning wouldn’t have done him much good.

Besides, as Woodward explained, the Indians were a good matchup for Smyly with all their left-handed hitters and some switch hitters who don’t have a ton of pop from the right side.

Combined with Ariel Jurado’s hiccup Sunday at Cincinnati and the uncertainty surrounding Joe Palumbo, who is taking Smyly’s rotation spot beginning Wednesday, and the rotation is once again a question.

Or maybe it always was, and the three-week stretch beginning in mid-May and ending with Sampson’s start last week at Boston is as good as the Rangers’ starters can be.

With Palumbo up, the Rangers are running really thin on internal rotation options. The Rangers are always looking for help from outside the organization, but so is just about everyone else.

If the starters are going to get back on track, Sampson, Jurado and Palumbo will have to get them there.

3. The Star-Telegram wrote fewer than two weeks ago about who should be on the Rangers’ Mount Rushmore with Nolan Ryan, Ivan Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre. Michael Young was at the top of the list.

Apparently he was at the top of the Rangers’ list, too.

They will retire No. 10 on Aug. 31.

Young is the franchise leader in just about everything, and he was the face of the franchise for many seasons as they rose from an also-ran to an American League champion. This probably should have happened last year.

But he’s not the only No. 10 who has a large piece in Rangers history, and he was very aware of that Tuesday. Jim Sundberg also wore No. 10 during a career that earned him a spot in the Rangers Hall of Fame.

“If someone asked me about No. 10, I would be quick to point out Jim Sundberg’s career as well,” Young said. “It’s important to recognize that he had incredible impact on this organization as well. If I was able to carry that torch a little bit, that’s something I’d be very proud of.”

Consider that well-deserved shoutout to Sundberg as another hit for Young.

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.

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