The 30-man roster is set. The season is about to begin. The virus is raging throughout the country. Will this crazy thing get pulled off?
Even crazier is, Leody Taveras, who has never played above Double-A, will be on the opening day roster. Good for him.
The twenty-one-year-old switch-hitting outfielder is the biggest surprise to make the team. But, give the Rangers credit. They didn’t discount the spring training stats and instead looked at how the kid played.
No surprise that in the battle for first—what turned out to be more of a slap fight than an actual battle—the Rangers kept their own .150 hitter in Ronald Guzman over the imported .150 hitter in Greg Bird. Bird will stay with the team, though, in the backup taxi squad. If the Rangers don’t need a first baseman who can’t hit, it’s doubtful anyone else would either. Kind of like the opposite of that Frank Sinatra “New York New York” song: “If you can’t make it here you can’t make it anywhere, Arlington, Arlington.”
Here is the complete opening day roster:
Rotation: RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Corey Kluber, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Lance Lynn, LHP Mike Minor.
No surprises here. The only lefty is Mike Minor.
Bullpen: LHP Kolby Allard, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Luke Farrell, RHP Ian Gibaut, RHP Nick Goody, RHP Jonathan Hernandez, RHP Jose Leclerc (closer), LHP Joe Palumbo, RHP Edinson Volquez.
Nine relievers, two left-handers. Of course, three of the lefties they were counting on aren’t ready yet.
Catchers: Robinson Chirino, Jeff Mathis, Jose Trevino.
Two catchers and a bullpen catcher. Makes sense.
Infield: Todd Frazier, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Ronald Guzman, Rob Refsnynder.
Remember reading about the Murders Row of the 1927 Yankees? The 2020 Rangers infield is the opposite of that. Maybe a proper nickname would be the Benevolent Society.
Outfield: Willie Calhoun, Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Scott Heinemann, Danny Santana, Nick Solak, Leody Taveras.
That’s a lot of backup outfielders to try to find at-bats for. Especially considering one of them in Nick Solak and he is on the outside looking in.
So, there it is. Here we are. Thirty players. Sixty games. The 2020 Texas Rangers start tomorrow.
Baseball is back.