Up to AAA Round Rock: RHP Owen White, 1B/OF Dustin Harris. Texas could have assigned White to AAA last week so I could watch him on Sunday, (switch to John Belushi voice) but noooooo, they let him pitch in Arkansas, and now he’s in Sacramento, and I only get to see him on a computer! (Normal voice) That aside, as I’ve mentioned, White hasn’t quite taken the baseball world by storm in 2023 due to a lighter schedule and slightly lower fastball velocity, but he’s ready for the jump. Despite 145 games in AA, Harris’s promotion isn’t what I’d call overdue. Harris’s walk rate is up 44% over his already solid 2022, but he’s striking out more often (a still-acceptable 23%), his hit rate is down (a career-low .245 average), and most of last year’s homers have turned into doubles.
Up to AA Frisco: OF Evan Carter (back from a few days with the rookies, but not in today’s lineup) and 1B/OF Josh Hatcher. Hatcher was last year’s 10th-round pick and batted .247/.295/.425 in Hickory, slowing down after a hot start.
Up to High-A Hickory: RHP Jose Corniell, OF Yosy Galan. Both were having stronger repeat showings in low-A, Corniell in particular.
Up to Low-A Down East: OF Anthony Gutierrez. Gutierrez returns to full-season ball after a a few weeks in Arizona including a handful of rookie- league games.
Up to rookie league: IF Sebastian Walcott. I’d hoped Texas’s top 2023 international signing would see the US in 2023, but I wasn’t expecting so soon. The 17-year-old batted .161/.381/.323 in nine Dominican Summer League games, drawing ten walks and striking out eight games in 42 trips to the plate.
To Injured List: IF Justin Foscue, backdated to last Friday. Foscue did not play in the home series against El Paso. Also Frisco RHP Kyle Funkhouser, an offseason signing who is recovering from an injured shoulder.
Transferred: Brad Miller’s rehab, to Frisco. Miller batted .211/.250/.368 in five games with the Express. The pitch and statcast data were not encouraging.
Signed: RHP Ian Kennedy. I overlooked his return last week. He’s assigned to rookie league for the moment and has yet to appear.
The Rangers lost three of five, most notably a 17-6 loss to the White Sox that included 13 walks, three hit batters, five wild pitches, a balk and two errors committed by Texas’s pitchers. Fort the players below, the ERA and slash stats are for the whole season, while the counting stats are for last week alone.
LHP Thomas Ireland (20 years old): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA
LHP C.J. Widger (24): 2.1 IP, 1 H, BB, 5 SO, 1.80 ERA
RHP Wilian Bormie (20): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 3.38 ERA
RHP Eury Rosado (22): 3.0 IP, , 3 BB, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA
LHP Luis Valdez (19): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
COF Edgar Basabe (19): 6-12, 3B, HR (1), .308/.333/.577
COF Marcos Torres (18): 4-14, 2 2B, 3B, BB, HBP, .294/.442/.500
C Jesus Lopez (18): 5-18, 2 2B, 3B, .261/.346/.522
CF Jose De Jesus (18): 3-13, 2B, 4 BB, 1 SB (5), .256/.375/.436
MIF Echedry Vargas (18): 4-19, 2B, 2 BB, 1 SB (2), .244/.306/.378
Yenci Pena has been the team’s best hitter in the early going, but he’s been around for years. Among the youngest, Marco Torres has fared best, followed closely by Anthony Gutierrez, who’s now back in low-A. Ireland and Widger are later-round 2021 picks who’ve pitched little-to-none entering 2023 because of injuries. Assuming space is available, they could easily end up on a full-season squad. Cuban Bryan Chi (3.18) continues to pace the rookies in workload, and he’s walked two versus 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Justin Topa started for Frisco. A 2013 Pittsburgh pick, Topa missed most of 2015-2016 because of elbow surgery and spent all of 2107 and a chunk of 2018 in the indy Frontier League. His ten games in the Texas system were nondescript, to be generous. I have no memory of him. So why bother? Because now, at the age of 32, darned if Topa isn’t pitching pretty well in relief for the Mariners. Topa has a 3.18 ERA, 25 strikeouts, and 13 holds in 30 appearances.