Date: Thursday, May 11th
Rangers’ Record: 15-20 (5th place, 8.5 games behind Houston)
Tonight’s Opponent: San Diego Padres
Tonight’s Starters: Clayton Richard (2-4, 4.87) vs. Martin Perez (1-5, 4.06)
Are you guys ready to preemptively freak out about Shohei Otani? I DEFINITELY AM. And it appears I’m not the only one interested in at least having the conversation. Jon Daniels is in Japan, and it’s the May 11th Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Jon Daniels, Josh Boyd, and a couple of scouts are in Kamagaya City, Japan right now. I have been able to confirm that much with team sources. According to one Japanese website, they have been watching Shohei Otani playing “catchball”. My understanding of this story is limited to Google Chrome’s ability to translate from Japanese to readable English [hint: it’s bad] so there’s a very good chance I’m missing something here, but here is my best interpretation of what’s happening:
SHOHEI OTANI IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE A TEXAS RANGER The Rangers are interested in signing Otani. And while you could say the same about roughly 29 other teams, Texas is the only one with JD shoes on the ground that I've heard of. Otani, for the record is injured, and there has been a fair amount of debate as to whether he will be coming to Major League Baseball in the coming off-season or not. But Daniels and Boyd wouldn’t be in Japan if there was not at least a reasonably serious amount of interest in the young star.
2. It only just occurs to me: perhaps you do not know who Shohei Otani is. Please allow me to introduce you (or just watch this 20-minute video).
Otani, at just 22 years of age, is a pitcher / DH / outfielder, and not in the Christian Bethancourt “hmmmm this could be an interesting possibility” sort of way. He's legitimately good at all three of these things. Otani threw 99mph in high school, and owns the Japanese NPB record for fastest-ever pitch, at 102.5mph.
In 2016, Otani batted .322 with 22 home runs in just 382 plate appearances. Meanwhile, he pitched his way to a 10-4 record with an ERA of 1.86, striking out 174 in 140 innings, walking 45 and hurling 4 complete games. He won the MVP and the home run derby.
He hit a ball through the roof.
Also of moderate interest: Otani's favorite pitcher is Yu Darvish (it’s why he wears #11)
I mentioned he was 22, right?
3. It's an otherwise slow news day, so here's a quick Round-up:
- Adrian Beltre hit on the field today and played long toss. He has not run, and there is still no timetable for his return, but these are both encouraging signs.
- Joey Gallo is getting another day out of the lineup today, but this is not one of Jeff Banister’s patented “unplugging” situations. He just didn’t get a full day off yesterday, and with a lefty on the mound, he’s getting a day. Pete Kozma is starting at third base.
- The new “Party at Napoli’s” shirts are available at the ballpark starting today.
“You coward, you hummingbird!” shouts Gabrielle Smith in “The Thunder Answered Back”. It’s the third track on “O.K.”, the latest record by Smith’s band Ó. The band used to be called Eskimeaux (that’s a whole other story if you’re interested), but whatever the moniker, it’s highly listenable lo-fi(ish) indie pop, fronted by Smith, whose voice conjurs up images of the girl who always knew about better bands than you.
(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.
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!
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