Rougned Odor went 1-for-4 with a run, Robinson Chirinos 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, and while it’s usually good news when we start an article by giving you statistics from familiar names, today’s exhibition happened to be against team Venezuela, and Odor and Chirinos were in the Blue, Yellow, Red, and Gray of their home country, rather than the blue Spring Training jerseys they’d donned prior to today.
On the day when it was announced that Andrew Cashner would not be ready for Opening Day with further bicep issues, Chi Chi Gonzalez had a roller coaster of a day. His strong Spring prior to today made him a topic of conversation among many (including myself). And in the first inning, Gonzalez faced Ender Inciarte, Odubel Herrera, and Miguel Cabrera, retiring all three of them.
Then came the second inning.
Cheech didn't escape the inning, removed for a reliever with just one out. Venezuela scored five, thanks in part to Chi Chi’s Texas teammates. That would be enough, though it would not be all: Venezuela added one more in the 8th. On the Rangers side, a Ryan Rua home run was all the Rangers could muster until the ninth inning, when they made it interesting by loading the bases with minor-league guys and letting Will Middlebrooks drive them all home with a double. Alas, that would be all: the final score was 6-4. Oh, and none of the stats from this game counted for Spring Training, which is good, since those stats also don’t count for the regular season.
So why has Chi Chi had such mixed success? One MLB scout mentioned to me that Chi Chi’s seeming unwillingness to throw his changeup more leaves him without an “out pitch”, allowing batters to stay comfortable in the box. Chi Chi had a good Spring until today’s second inning, and you don’t want to make too much of one inning of work, but I’ll be interested to see how his next few outings take shape.
Other notes from today's game:
Wesley Wright pitched two scoreless innings, as did Dillon Gee. Both guys are still contending for roster spots: Wright for the role of left-handed reliever, and Gee for one of those rotation spots that Chi Chi Gonzalez didn’t lock down today.
OTHER BASEBALL STUFF
1. Injury report: We already told you about Cashner.
Additionally, Brett Nicholas underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus, which means (with Jonathan Lucroy and Robinson Chirinos both playing in the WBC) you’re going to see an awful lot of Steven Lerud, A.J. Jimenez, and Jose Trevino for the next little while.
And Jurickson Profar jammed the middle finger of his left hand sliding into third base last night while running the bases for team Netherlands.
2. Colby Lewis’ name has come up a lot today in the wake of the Cashner news. I wrote here that–while I love Colby as much as anyone–it doesn’t make sense for the Rangers to sign him right now.
3. Elvis Andrus could return to the lineup as early as this weekend, as he continues his recovery from surgery to repair a sports hernia.
4. Tony Barnette spoke with T.R. Sullivan yesterday about his place in Arizona.
5. Matt Bush is coming into his second year in the league, and Jeff Wilson has a story here about what that means.
It's a somewhat short Daily today, which is fine. We don't want to wear you out on baseball news before the regular season even gets here. There are plenty of links up there if you need more.
You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!