Date: Sunday, August 21st, 2017
Opponent: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Starters: Cole Hamels (8-1, 3.48) vs. Tyler Skaggs (1-3, 3.63)
As pointed out by Jamey Newberg in his latest offering, the Rangers are 4-9 this season when they start the game with a record of .500 and a chance for a winning record. The last two of those happened this past week as part of a 7-3 homestand. There, I’ve given the pessimists one sentence, and the optimists one sentence, and the self-referential one sentence.
It’s the August 21st Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Matt Bush is officially on the DL after colliding with Joey Gallo as the two chased an infield pop-up in the 8th inning of yesterday’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox. The word last night was that both players would remain back in Texas for the night as they underwent continued concussion protocol, but that Bush had a bruised right knee. We’ll get to Gallo in a minute, but this afternoon, word came down that Bush had in fact suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Preface: I am not a doctor, and have not heard any timeframe from any sources on the amount of time Matt Bush is expected to miss. This is all speculation, and sprains vary in their degree of seriousness. With that out of the way, here’s what the internet is telling me to expect, as far as a return time is concerned
Stephen Vogt suffered a sprained MCL and was placed on the DL on July 18th. He was activated on August 18th (Vogt was also dealing with a neck issue).
The following day, Cameron Maybin also suffered an MCL sprain. He was activated on August 7th.
Stephen Curry suffered a Grade I sprained MCL on April 25th, 2016, and wasn’t able to return until May 9th. Basketball is fundamentally different skill set than pitching, but pitching does require the right knee to push off the mound. Here’s an article that discusses MCL sprains in-depth.
The team hasn’t told us the severity of the sprain, but re-watching the video from yesterday, while it was obvious that Bush knew something wasn’t right with his knee (he did almost immediately begin stretching it, trying to get it to loosen up, and he tried a deep knee bend once trainer Matt Lucero arrived) he also didn’t limp at all, which is a stark contrast from the three examples I gave above. Either way, the DL is at least ten days, so welcome to the big leagues…
2. Nick Gardewine, who the Rangers drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. Gardewine has spent all of this season in Frisco, racking up a 1-2 record with a 2.41 ERA in 33⅔ innings pitched. He has struck out 50 and walked just 12, which is at least hopeful, but he has also allowed 35 hits, which is less so (I’ll spare you the math: that’s a 1.396 WHIP). Ironically, 1.396 is precisely the same WHIP Gardewine had in his last season as a starter, 2015 in Hickory. IN 2016, he made the transition to the bullpen, and both WHIP and ERA dropped dramatically, which is even more impressive when you consider that he moved up to the launching pad known as High Desert. Gardewine will wear #45, most recently worn by Derek Holland.
Gardewine was not on the 40-man roster, but the Rangers were only at 39 players anyway, so by adding him, they are now at a full 40. Speaking of rosters...
3. Joey Gallo will remain on the active roster, but along with his non-displaced nasal fracture, both he and Bush are “showing signs” of a concussion, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson. So Gallo has not yet made the trip to Anaheim. The big slugger has been a major factor in the Rangers’ recent resurgence, so if there’s a chance he will be back in [number less than ten] days, the team will likely keep him active and play a man short until he is able to return. With that in mind, they have also recalled…
4. Ryan Rua from Round Rock. Rua spent a couple of weeks at the big-league level in July and early August, never making it into a game. He’s in the starting lineup tonight, playing left field. With Gallo remaining active, the Rangers had to make a move to clear room on the 25-man roster for Rua, so they did so by sending
5. Phil Gosselin back to AAA. Gosselin entered the game yesterday to replace Gallo, so his total contribution to the 2017 Rangers team thus far consists of barehanding what would ultimately be an infield single by Avisail Garcia (the first batter into the game after the collision) and a groundout to third base in his lone at-bat. You can expect to see Gosselin back in Arlington in September once the rosters expand, however. He’s a consummate utility infielder-type, and those are valuable, especially when you have room for them on the 25-man roster.
6. Matt Fisher tells us how this ten-games-in-eleven-days homestand could affect the Rangers’ destiny, and you can read it here.
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