The Rangers have released right-hander Reyes Moronta and outfielder Joe McCarthy, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The team has also informed non-roster invitees Clint Frazier and Yoshi Tsutsugo that they will not make the Opening Day roster.
Signing with the Rangers offered Moronta, previously a setup man with the Giants, the opportunity to reunite with former skipper Bruce Bochy. Spring training didn’t go as either Moronta or the team hoped, however, as he was roughed up for ten runs on nine hits and four walks with five punchouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The 30-year-old Moronta spent the 2022 season with the Dodgers and D-backs, working to a 4.30 ERA with a 23.6% strikeout rate and 11% walk rate in 37 2/3 frames. That was his healthiest season since 2019 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He missed the 2020 season and pitched in just 22 Triple-A frames in 2021.
Prior to that surgery, Moronta pitched 128 1/3 innings of 2.66 ERA ball with a huge 29.8% strikeout rate and a heater that averaged just over 97 mph. His velocity was down to 95.3 mph in 2022, however, nearly two full ticks below peak levels.
McCarthy, 29, appeared in 17 Cactus League games and batted .258/.343/.387 with a homer, a double, a stolen base, three walks and a dozen strikeouts. His candidacy for the left field job took a hit when the Rangers signed Robbie Grossman, who’s been the primary option in left this spring and will get a chance to run with a regular role there when the season begins.
Grossman’s arrival was also bad news for Frazier, who had a decent showing this spring, hitting .244/.311/.463 with a pair of homers, three doubles and a 14-to-4 K/BB ratio in 45 trips to the plate. The switch-hitting Grossman is much stronger from the right side of the dish than the left, which never seemed to bode well for the right-handed-hitting Frazier. The former top prospect, who had a nice run with the Yankees from 2018-20 when he hit .267/.351/.485 in 447 plate appearances, is still with the club for now and could open the season in Triple-A as a depth option.
Tsutsugo, 31, got a bit later of a start in camp. He appeared in 11 games and batted .240/.296/.400 with a homer, a double, two walks and eight strikeouts in 27 plate appearances. Tsutsugo was a feared slugger in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball but has yet to acclimate to Major League pitching since signing with the Rays prior to the 2020 season. He’s a .197/.291/.339 hitter with 18 home runs in 640 Major League plate appearances. Like Frazier, he could be a depth option in Triple-A to begin the season.