Texas Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele left Globe Life Park before Sunday’s game to drive to Austin to watch his son, Shane, make his debut for the Texas Longhorns against Notre Dame.
Steve Buechele said he was driving down alone and meeting the rest of the family in Austin.
Shane Buechele is a true freshman quarterback who is expected to play his first game for the ’Horns. He was a two-time all-state selection at Arlington Lamar. He started the game against Notre Dame and threw a touchdown pass on his opening series.
I woke up this morning a UT fan. And that’s rare.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
”Yeah, I’d say there is some anxiousness for sure,” Steve Buechele said. “I know it’s going to be wild, I don’t know really what to expect. This is new for us. It’s going to be pretty exciting and a pretty proud moment for mom and dad.”
The Buechele family scrounged together 12 tickets for the game.
“We were lucky enough to get some extra ones for all the family. We’re kind of spread out, but we’re all there,” he said.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister insisted Buechele not miss the momentous occasion. Field coordinator Jayce Tingler helped fill the void during Sunday’s game.
“He put up a little bit of a tough guy act for about five minutes,” Banister said. “I told him to stop trying to play the reverse psychology on me like you really want to be here.”
Banister said he and his coaches were all sharing in the excitement for the Buechele family.
“I woke up this morning a UT fan. And that’s rare,” Banister said. “It’s important for him and his family and his son for him to be there. It’s important for us, too. I’ll share in the excitement also. I guarantee you every coach in that room will be a UT fan tonight, every one of them. They’ll all be Texas fans tonight.”
Right-hander Jose Leclerc rejoined the Rangers before Sunday’s game to give the bullpen some cover.
5.2 Innings right-hander Jose Leclerc pitched during 10 days in July when he was called up to the majors for the first time.
Leclerc has a 2.72 ERA in 43 innings for Triple A Round Rock. He made his first major league stint in July, compiling a 1.59 ERA in 5 2/3 innings over 10 days. He struggled a bit to throw strikes, walking eight and striking out five in his three appearances. Banister said he’s improved in that department in Round Rock.
“He’s got swing-and-miss secondary stuff and an above average fastball,” Banister said. “It’s about major league hitters not being able to eliminate pitches.”
Leclerc said he’s happy to join some of his Round Rock teammates back in the majors.
“I’m more relaxed because this is my second time,” he said. “I know the place, I know the names, so, of course, I’m more relaxed.”
Jeffress status unknown
Banister said he does not know if reliever Jeremy Jeffress will be available before the season is over. Jeffress recently checked into a treatment facility after an arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Banister compared the situation to when a player is on the disabled list.
“When a guy is on the DL I don’t expect them until we have them,” he said. “And then when we get him it’s [about] finding how they get back in a rhythm and that takes time.”
Banister said he’s more concerned about Jeffress’ personal well-being than his professional availability.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy was back in the starting lineup Sunday after missing Saturday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Lucroy said he “felt a little weird and dehydrated,” but felt better Sunday morning.