Four questions for Rangers ahead of spring training

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The Rangers begin their spring training schedule against the Kansas City Royals on Friday. Although you can write spots in ink pen, the configuration of the list is still a question. Texas added a few players on minor league contracts in the past few days, as well as former Seattle marine Brad Miller on a major league contract. Yes, there are many more questions, but here are the four most important questions as we hit the three-week mark until the 2022 season.

Who’s the main guy at third base?

After the Isiah Kiner-Falefa trade, Andy Ibáñez’s name rose to the top of the list of Rangers’ best third baseman. However, third base will be the most competitive position before spring training. Rangers could go Nick Solak, Yonny Hernandez, or even old friend Charlie Culberson, who signed a minor league contract on Wednesday. Unless Culberson gets him out of the water, I don’t see Charlie getting the starting job at third base, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Culberson sneaks onto the Opening Day roster. As for who the starter is, Ibáñez’s last two months in 2021 give him the leverage. Right now it’s up to Andy to lose unless Yonny or Nick leaves.

Who is the number two receiver on the depth chart?

Mitch Garver’s trade shocked a lot of people on the outside. Rangers’ catch-up depth is piling up, and the one small knock on Jose Trevino and Jonah Heim is consistent on the attacking side. Both defensive abilities are fantastic and I would even take the risk, but Texas went with the veteran behind the plate. Now the question becomes who will save Garver? Offensively, the difference in OPS between the two was 0.09 (Trevino – 0.607, Heim – 0.598). Jose played seven more games, but Heim showed more power than Trevino. Jonah Heim is also a switch hitter who hits better against left-handers, while Trevino is a right-hander who hits better against right-handers (stats are opposite). Trevino has taken on a leadership role while Heim is three years younger.

Two factors go into this decision. First, if Rangers intend to trade one, which would create more suitors and a bigger return? Second, which receiver best compliments Mitch Garver? Garver is a right-hander, but his career splits are nearly even. It’s going to come down to spring training camp. Keep your eyes open.

If the Rangers aren’t adding any more starters, which ones are rotating?

Taylor Hearn, Dane Dunning and Jon Gray rotate unless something goofy happens. The starting pitch decreases on the board and in the trade market. Obviously, Spring Training will dictate the results, but which two on the list seem likely to make the list? It will depend on how the team wants to use someone like John King. The goal in 2021 was to convert King as a starter and ease him into the role. Unfortunately, Rangers started stretching him before he got injured, so is that the same plan for 2022? If so, we can have a tandem role to start the year, but if not, I consider Glenn Otto and AJ Alexy my two guys.

Your three projected outfielders?

During the first week of camp, Eli White impresses the spectators. If White keeps the trend going, I see Eli starting things in center field. Add Adolis García in right field, and now you have left field to decide. Right now, I’d say Kole Calhoun, Willie Calhoun, Brad Miller and Nick Solak are your top contenders (assuming there are no new independent signers). If I had to pick two days before spring training, Adolis, Eli and Kole are your first outfielders, with Willie the designated hitter.



Accredited Media Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 Graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film. I talk about things. Find me on tweeter @aplinckTX




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