The Texas Rangers are not only young, with all those 20-something position players

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The Texas Rangers are not only young, with all those 20-something position players

Postby zhangzk » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:04 pm

ARLINGTON Anibal Sanchez Jersey , Texas (AP) — they go into spring training with a first-time manager and without the retired Adrian Beltre at third base.Chris Woodward has never been a manager. But the 42-year-old former utility infielder spent the last three seasons as third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have something in common with the Rangers.Los Angeles lost in the World Series the past two years. The last team to do that was Texas, which hasn’t won another playoff series since its back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers are now coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2008.“I’m not really putting any limitations or expectations on this team,” Woodward said. “My goal is to not have a team that’s going to sneak up on people. Maybe this year we will because the expectations around the league are not high on our end. …These players want to win, and I’m not going to sit here and tell them that they can’t.”The Rangers had seven position players 25 or younger play at least 106 games last season. Six are back, including slugger Joey Gallo as a full-time outfielder after consecutive 40-homer seasons.Nomar Mazara, still only 23, has his exactly 20 homers in each of his three seasons . The right fielder missed a month on the disabled list late last season with a sprained right thumb. He avoided surgery, and said the thumb is better with the extended offseason rest.“My main thing is stay healthy. I think I can do a lot of damage out there,” Mazara said. “We’re working in the right direction, everybody. We have a good chemistry. We’re just hungry to get out there and do the best that we can. Last year wasn’t fun at all.”NEW LOOKAlong with a new manager, the Rangers will have a new third baseman after Beltre, who had 3,166 career hits, retired in November . They also have a revamped starting rotation with lone returner Mike Minor and four pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery.Switch-hitting Asdrubal Cabrera, a two-time All-Star shortstop for Cleveland early in his 12-season career, has been at third base for only 52 of his 1,426 big league starts. Those starts at third came the last two years for Philadelphia and the New York Mets.“As he has gotten older , as a lot of players do, his range is probably not quite where it was when you’re talking about shortstop every day … but thinking he’ll be a solid third baseman,” general manager Jon Daniels said.ROOKIES TO WATCHYohander Mendez, a 24-year-old lefty, could be a starting option if all of the surgically repaired pitchers don’t make it through the season. Mendez pitched 43 innings in 17 appearances the past three seasons, with his five career starts all last year.THEY’RE SETWith Minor and free agent addition Lance Lynn, the Rangers have their top two rotation spots filled. Minor led the Rangers in starts (28), wins (12), innings pitched (157) and strikeouts (132) last season, when he was closely monitored in his return to the rotation. The former Atlanta starter missed two full years because of a torn labrum and was a full-time reliever for Kansas City in 2017. Since missing 2016 after Tommy John surgery, Lynn has gone 21-18 with a 4.04 ERA in 64 games for St. Louis, Minnesota and the New York Yankees.THEY’RE NOTWhile the Rangers have pitchers expected to fill out the rest of rotation, all are coming off Tommy John surgery. Drew Smyly hasn’t pitched since 2016. Edinson Volquez (traded by Texas to Cincinnati for Josh Hamilton after the 2007 season) returned to the Rangers last year to go through his rehab. Shelby Miller, who had surgery in May 2017, went on the disabled list in mid-July with right elbow inflammation after only four starts for Arizona.ON DECKThe Rangers open their final season in their current stadium against the Chicago Cubs on March 28. Texas could face two of its former starters in that three-game interleague series. Lefty Cole Hamels was traded from Texas to Chicago last July, and Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers in 2017 and pitched in the World Series before going to the Cubs in free agency last season. LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — As the Detroit Tigers prepare for what could be another tough season, Chris Ilitch can look back on a couple success stories from the Motor City’s recent past.“I’ve had a wonderful opportunity, having lived through building a four-time Stanley Cup champion in the Detroit Red Wings, and championship teams with the Detroit Tigers , and World Series participants,” Ilitch said. “I think as you look back on how those clubs were built, they were built in large part, exactly the way we’re building this club.”Ilitch, the CEO of both the Tigers and Red Wings, was at spring training Saturday and took some questions from reporters in the dugout. Detroit lost 98 games in each of the past two seasons and remains in a rebuilding mode, but Ilitch said he’s optimistic about the future. He also said he understands that fans want this process to pay dividends as quickly as possible.“I’m a fan, first and foremost. I want to see our team be a great team, a playoff team, and ultimately a championship team,” Ilitch said. “I think the key for all of us is to make sure that we’re very disciplined in following the right path to that success, and I think we’re doing exactly that.”The Tigers were big spenders for about a decade, winning the American League pennant in 2006 and 2012 and finishing atop the AL Central four straight seasons from 2011-14. Owner Mike Ilitch, Chris’ father, added high-priced free agents like Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder in pursuit of a World Series title, but the franchise still hasn’t won one since 1984. By 2017, Detroit was stuck with an aging, expensive core — and a team that was well out of contention.Mike Ilitch died before that 2017 season, and Chris became the team’s controlling owner. After their chances dwindled in 2017, the Tigers traded J.D. Martinez Eddie Rosario Jersey , Justin Upton and Justin Verlander and began rebuilding in earnest.Ilitch was asked Saturday if the payroll might increase in the future — if the Tigers are able to build a better foundation first with young players.“It’s a very difficult question to answer. What will our payroll, what will our roster look like? So it’s next to impossible to answer that question,” Ilitch said. “The best way I can answer that question is by telling you and our fans that we’re going to do exactly what we’ve continued to do, which is, we’re going to bring the resources to our ballclub that we need to successfully compete and accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves, which is to be, not only a playoff team, but we want to build a championship club.”Ilitch expressed confidence in general manager Al Avila and manager Ron Gardenhire.“I feel we’re making great progress, and I feel like we have a great plan,” Ilitch said. “I know it’s a great plan, because we’ve lived this type of plan, and I’ve personally seen it at the professional sports level now in two different sports. So this is the right way to build a championship team. I feel we’re on the right path.”As for that other franchise Ilitch mentioned: The Red Wings are struggling too. Ilitch said he hasn’t asked permission from the Tampa Bay Lightning to talk to Steve Yzerman about a possible role with Detroit. Yzerman, a star with Detroit as a player, stepped down last year as general manager of the Lightning, moving to a senior adviser role.“As you know, he’s under contract,” Ilitch said. “We generally have a rule within our organization of not talking to or about executives or others that are under contract with another organization. So there’s not a lot I can say about that, other than I know his contract is expiring this summer, and we’ll leave it at that.”

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