Astros outfielder George Springer is in the lineup today against Seattle, marking a quick return from a concussion suffered earlier this week after he collided with the center field wall. Some other news from around the AL:
- The Rangers have uncertainty at the hot corner for 2020, and they’ll at least kick the tires on the top free agent at the position, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. There’s an argument that Anthony Rendon is the top free agent on this offseason’s market, period, with a six-year deal a strong possibility. It’s notable to hear the Rangers could consider shelling out that kind of cash, although Wilson notes they’ll evaluate their internal candidates at third base over the season’s final month. Those include Danny Santana, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Nick Solak, per Wilson, but not Joey Gallo, who is no longer seen as an option at the position.
- The Rangers have had difficulty developing pitching in recent seasons, causing the organization to modernize its pitching development, explains Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News in a piece that would be of interest to Ranger fans. Texas has upped its usage of wearable technology and curtailed its recent draftees’ workload in an effort to keep their top arms healthy. As Grant notes, the program isn’t off to a rousing start, as Hans Crouse, Owen White and Cole Ragans, among others, have dealt with injury-plagued 2019 seasons. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to monitor the progression of the Rangers’ arms as the program takes a more defined shape.
- Things don’t appear to be trending well for Kole Calhoun to return to Los Angeles in 2020, observes Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription link). As expected, Olney notes that the Angels hope to clear room alongside Mike Trout and Justin Upton for top outfield prospect Jo Adell, Baseball America’s #2 prospect. The Angels hold a $14MM option (or a $1M buyout) on Calhoun’s services, a borderline price point for a corner outfielder with a .233/.325/.466 slash (107 wRC+). Despite the not-insignificant price tag, Olney believes the Angels will at least consider picking up the option and dangling Calhoun in trade, figuring some outfield-needy team would be willing to take on the veteran for a marginal prospect return.
- The Rays are making some changes within their baseball operations hierarchy, per a club press release. Mitch Lukevics, the organization’s long-time farm director, is transitioning to a senior advisory role in the front office after 14 years running the club’s minor-league operations. Lukevics “will remain closely involved” with the minor league system, the Rays added. Tampa Bay has also promoted Jeff McLerran to director of minor league operations, promoted Patrick Walter to director of international operations and promoted Steve Miller to director of international scouting. McLerran and Walter had previously been assistant directors in those respective fields, while Miller has spent the past six seasons as an international crosschecker for the Rays.