Date: Monday, July 31st, 2017
Rangers’ Record: 50-54 (T-3rd, 18 games behind Houston)
Wild Card Position: (T-7th of 12, 5.5 games out)
Tonight’s Opponent: Seattle Mariners (53-53)
Tonight’s Starters: Felix Hernandez (5-4, 4.08) vs. Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.97)
Yesterday, we marked time as one of the all-time days in Rangers franchise history unfolded. Pudge Rodriguez was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and before you had time to clear your throat and wipe away the sports emotion from your eyes, Adrian Beltre hit a hard grounder past Manny Machado for his 3,000th hit. As his kids bounded onto the field to reveal the new signage on the right field wall, then back to the infield to hug their Dad, the stadium, the fans, and the sport glowed for a moment and tried to take in the finer details as they slipped past us and into the annals of history.
Rangers fans sat back, closed their eyes briefly as they breathed in the warm summer air, and as they opened their eyes, their breath’s mist clouded the cold, black chill of winter’s air. By day’s end, Jonathan Lucroy had been traded to the Rockies for a player to be named later, and trade season sell-off was in full swing. Since then, Jeremy Jeffress and Yu Darvish have also both become former Rangers.
It’s the July 31st Trade Deadline Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Yu Darvish to the Dodgers
The Return:Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy, and Brendon Davis.
Ten minutes before the trade deadline, Yu Darvish tweeted this. Ten minutes after the deadline, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Darvish had been traded. Weird day, man.
I’m not a prospects expert, but fortunately, Kate Morrison knows her stuff, and over at FanRag, she breaks down this trade down better than I ever could. It’s disappointing not to get Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler, or Yadier Alvarez, but Willie Calhoun should be fun to watch, even though he is, by all accounts, not super promising in the field... or on the basepaths… but he can hit! He was the #4 prospect in the Dodgers system, and I already have a favorite Willie Calhoun story.
Meanwhile, Darvish joins the best team in baseball as they chase their first World Series win since 1988. He joins a currently-injured Clayton Kershaw, plus Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu to form what will be a devastatingly good rotation in October (assuming Kershaw is healthy by then).
2. Jonathan Lucroy to the Rockies
The Return: Player to be Named Later.
This is the end of one of the most confusing and disappointing tenures in recent memory. When the Rangers acquired Lucroy, he was widely regarded as one of the best catchers in the game, both defensively and offensively. This season, the talk has been that his defense has mysteriously fallen off an abysmal precipice. His offense hasn’t been so hot, either, hitting just .242 with an OPS of .635. Obviously, we’ll keep you abreast of the return as it comes, but for now, it’s okay to stamp Lucroy’s time in Texas with the Disappointment Stamp you keep handy. Second drawer, with the broken pens and at least three staplers. Staplers are terrible.
3. Jeremy Jeffress back to the Brewers
The Return: RHP Tayler Scott, 25.
Jeffress was the second player in the Lucroy trade. Scott is a South-African born relief pitcher who has a career ERA of 3.75 in seven minor league seasons (but is at 2.34 in AA this season). Scott has 63 strikeouts in 61⅔ innings this season, with 35 walks. Opponents are batting .240 against him. Jeffress, on the other hand, was never the same pitcher in Texas that he was in Milwaukee, and will hope to return to form as he helps his old/new team chase an NL Central title.
Side note: do you want to frame the last two in the most frustrating terms? Here goes: the Rangers turned Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Cordell into a PTBNL and a 25-year old reliever with 482 minor league innings (and 0 major league ones.)
4. Jeff Banister spoke about the team being a “seller”. I’ll let you watch him, the words are more effective that way
Believe him, or don’t. But it’s nice to have a manager who refuses to give in to the depressing reality of a disappointing season. Keep fightin’ it, man. Better this than someone who comes out and throws his hands up and says “Yeah I don’t care, I’m gonna let Claudio fill out the lineup card for the rest of the year.”
5. Here’s the rest of the video from the press conference today.
6. Ryan Rua, Clayton Blackburn, and Nick Martinez have been called up to replace Lucroy, Jeffress, and Darvish on the roster. Blackburn wasacquired for Frandy de la Rosa in April. Banister said that Martinez is the likely starter tomorrow night.
7. Baseball Card collectors: Topps is doing a limited-edition printing run of cards for Adrian Beltre’s 3,000th hit and Pudge Rodriguez’ Hall of Fame induction. They’re only available until 2pm central tomorrow (Tuesday), and they will only print as many as are ordered, so if you want one, get it now (link is here), or deal with eBay later.
SOUND THE ALARM THERE IS A NEW MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA RECORD WEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOO. This is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Andy Hull is one of my all-time favorite lyric writers. I am so excited.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)
During the regular season, these recommendations occasionally come from Rangers players, broadcasters, or other people around the team (here’s a complete list). If there’s a player or person you’d like Levi to ask for a music recommendation, shoot him an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or a tweet here.
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