Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 28 July

Josh Jung was 1-3 in his 2022 debut with the rookies. Fellow rehabber Davis Wendzel drew a walk in three plate appearances.

If you’ve got an Athletic subscription, please check out Jamey Newberg’s piece on how a Texas acquisition of Juan Soto might be negotiated, and Lindsey Adler’s perceptive story on Joey Gallo’s struggles in New York. Texas has officially signed its top 12 picks plus 14th-round RHP Andrew Owen and 18th-round lefty Justin Sanchez.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 7, Sacramento (SFO) 6
Round Rock: 10 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Record: 51-45, 6 GB

SP Kohei Arihara: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 78 P / 53 S, 5.31 ERA
LF Bubba Thompson: 2-4, 2B, HBP, SB (47), .297/.351/.462
CF JP Martinez: 2-4, BB, 2 SB (3), .286/.412/.571
C Sam Huff: 2-3, HR (14), HBP, .274/.354/.575
1B Josh Sale: 1-1, HR (8), .273/.371/.512

Down 6-4 in the 8th, Josh Sale clubbed a pinch-hit two-run homer. Steele Walker singled in Bubba Thompson in the 9th.

Sale has a homer per 17.5 plate appearances, approximate to Anthony Rendon, Cal Raleigh, Jose Altuve, Corey Seager. He’s had a good year and was a clever signing. Good enough for MLB? Tough to say. Sale has a 28% strikeout rate, not awful by modern standards but certainly elevated and indicative of what to expect at a higher level. Sale is selective at the plate, but his 35% miss rate when he swings is the highest on the team.

AA: Frisco 4, at Springfield (STL) 9
Frisco: 10 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 13-11, 5 GB, 49-44 overall

SP Zak Kent: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 86 P / 48 S, 4.92 ERA
1B Dustin Harris: 2-4, 2 HR (17), .266/.357/.490
2B Jax Biggers: 2-4, 2 2B, .287/.353/.369

With a wild weekend, Dustin Harris could become a 20/20 hitter by the end of the month. Notably, he’s started five of his last eight games in the field at 1B. Prior to that, he’d made just one appearance there.

Springfield SS Masyn Winn, who could be a National if the Cards land Soto, had a homer and double.

High-A: Hickory 6, Rome (ATL) 1
Hickory: 10 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 12-15, 4 GB, 50-43 overall

SP Mason Englert: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO, 95 P / 61 S, 4.12 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.55 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 3-4, 2B, BB, SB (26), .321/.418/.497
1B Cristian Inoa: 2-3, HR (8), .298/.360/.463

Mason Englert held the opponent scoreless for the second time this season. He’d pitched only one inning last time out, presumably a workload decision.

Luisangel Acuna missed a few games over the past week-plus, but he has a hit in all of his 13 July games and 19 total for a .388/.464/.490 line.

Low-A: Down East 1, at Charleston (TAM) 3
Down East: 2 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 14-12, 4.5 GB, 47-45 overall

SP Emiliano Teodo: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 55 P / 37 S, 3.39 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 6.12 ERA

Jose Corniell extended his season-long trend of being either really good or really something else. Corniell has nine scoreless outings, five with at least four runs allowed, and just two in between.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ragans
AA: Brennan
Hi-A: Roby

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Uh oh. “The [rookie league] Rangers played their first extra-inning game, meaning the first time to test MLB’s awful new rule in which a runner is placed at second base before the inning begins. The Rangers barely avoided trouble in the top half, letting the runner reach third on a pickoff error during the leadoff plate appearance. But Israel Cruz struck out the next two followed by an inning-ending grounder. In the bottom half, Kevin Mendoza singled home gift-runner Ryan Dorow with one out.”

Once I saw the rule in person, I had a change of heart. In the minors, the outcomes aren’t as important, the emotional investment isn’t as strong, and many extra-inning minor league games were already “faux baseball” because managers were increasingly inclined to employ position players on the mound rather than potentially wear out relievers or disturb the upcoming rotation.

That’s the minors. In the Majors, the rule is grotesque. I’d genuinely rather have games end in a tie after 11-12 innings.