So far during their brief major league careers, Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo have not lived up to the hype they received as prospects, and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels doesn’t believe the organization has put either player in proper position to succeed. “Don’t hold it against these players,” Daniels told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “That’s on us. We promoted them aggressively because they were advanced in a lot of ways, and when you get to Triple-A at age 19 or 20 years old and reach the big leagues at 20 or 21, that’s unusual. The guys that hit and perform immediately are on the fast track to the Hall of Fame discussion.” Considering they’re only entering their age-24 seasons, there’s certainly still time for Profar and Gallo to establish themselves in the infield or outfield. Texas, for its part, remain bullish on the pair. “The talent and the instincts haven’t gone anywhere,” Daniels noted. With their farm system having thinned out recently and several of their top players on the wrong side of 30, the Rangers have a lot riding on the development of Profar and Gallo, posits Crasnick.
More from the AL:
- The Astros’ success this year figures to largely hinge on the bounce-back abilities of their top starters, 2015 Cy Young-winning southpaw Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., who endured injury-shortened campaigns last season. Keuchel, who hasn’t started since Aug. 27 on account of shoulder inflammation, could be ready for game action during the upcoming week, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Thanks to elbow problems, McCullers’ latest start came Aug. 2, though he’s also on the right track now. The 23-year-old threw 43 pitches in live batting practice Saturday and will make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday.
- Red Sox skipper John Farrell indicated Sunday that reliever Fernando Abad will put himself in a less-than-ideal position by leaving the team to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, per Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com. “You love the fact that his country looks upon him as a guy to contribute for the WBC,” said Farrell. “He’s pitched four times; there’s been early-camp mixed results, which are not uncommon. But in those positions of competing for a spot, you’d like to think that a guy’s going to be here to make that mark here. He’s aware of his status on the roster competing for a spot. When he returns, it’s constant evaluating that’s going on.” Abad’s battling for a spot on the team with fellow left-hander Robby Scott, whom Farrell complimented Sunday, and his shaky spring has come on the heels of a disappointing showing with Boston in 2016. After the Red Sox acquired Abad from the Twins at the trade deadline, he allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits and eight walks in 12 2/3 innings. It’s worth noting that Abad’s $2MM salary for 2017 won’t become fully guaranteed until Opening Day, so his place in the organization could be in jeopardy.
- Another Red Sox reliever, offseason acquisition Tyler Thornburg, also hasn’t enjoyed a great spring thus far, as John Tomase of WEEI writes. Having yielded nine earned runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 frames, the righty will stay away from game action for the next few days as he attempts to fix his mechanics. “It’s been more timing in his delivery,” Farrell observed. “He’s out of sync right now. His body is drifting to the plate too quick, you see a number of pitches left up of the strike zone up to his arm-side. To see him hit a guy the other day with a changeup, that just says his timing right now needs a lot of work.” Boston sent three players to Milwaukee for Thornburg, who was among the game’s premier relievers last year.
- The elbow MRI that Tigers reliever Adam Ravenelle underwent after leaving the team’s game Saturday didn’t show any structural damage, according to manager Brad Ausmus (via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). “He’ll get a second opinion to be safe, but they don’t think it’s anything major. I’m sure he feels better about it, more than anyone else, having been through surgery already,” said Ausmus, referring to the ulnar nerve procedure Ravenelle underwent in 2012. Baseball America ranks the 24-year-old as Detroit’s No. 8 prospect.