Adrian Beltre is expected to play in all three games of this weekend’s final series for the Rangers, writes Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but beyond that there’s still no certainty about his future. Beltre did, however, indicate that he won’t make any sort of announcement on Sunday, nor will he drag the decision on for a significant chunk of the offseason. Whatever Beltre’s decision will be — retire, return to the Rangers, or sign a one-year deal with a contender — it appears that his mind is not yet made up just yet.
Here’s more out of Arlington…
- Though the season has been a disastrous one for the Rangers, the club is seeing some encouraging signs out of some young relievers late in the year, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Jose Leclerc has been one of the best relievers on the planet over the past few months, allowing just two runs in a span of 32 2/3 innings dating back to June 20. In that time, the once-erratic Leclerc has turned in a phenomenal 51-to-11 K/BB ratio and allowed a mere 10 hits. There are some encouraging signs from 26-year-old Connor Sadzeck as well, despite a dismal 10 walks in 9 1/3 innings since being recalled from Triple-A. Sadzeck is averaging 97 mph on his fastball and has shown some mechanical improvements, interim skipper Don Wakamatsu explained to Grant. Namely, Sadzeck has been able to speed up his delivery while maintaining his premium velocity after previously struggling to work quickly with men on base in the minors. Leclerc, 25 in December, has solidified himself as the Texas closer heading into 2019 and is controlled all the way through 2022. Sadzeck, meanwhile, should get every opportunity to earn a spot after whiffing 53 hitters in 42 minor league innings.
- Speaking of Wakamatsu, Wilson writes in another column that the Rangers’ interim manager is expected to remain with the team even if he is not ultimately hired as the new full-time manager. Wakamatsu is under contract through next season as the bench coach and tells Wilson he’d like to be with the team regardless of whether he’s selected as Jeff Banister’s replacement. GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including Wilson, that the organization is still “gathering information” and has yet to speak to any potential candidates about the managerial vacancy.
- One familiar face for Rangers fans who’s hoping to be considered is third base coach Tony Beasley, reports MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “I know the heartbeat of this team,” Beasley tells Sullivan. “I would love to be considered for it.” Although the 51-year-old has never managed at the MLB level, he does come with eight seasons of minor league managerial experience which, Sullivan adds, includes six postseason appearances and a Double-A Manager of the Year Award.