Texas Rangers: 3 up, 3 down, and 3 things to watch after the first week of spring training
Spring training for the Texas Rangers is now fully ramped up. It was a week that saw ace Jacob deGrom pitch his first two bullpen sessions since coming to camp with tightness in his left side. It was a week that saw the Rangers get started with spring training games.
They went 1-2 the first weekend, losing to the Royals twice, 6-5 on a walk-off home run on Friday and 10-5 Saturday with a mostly reserves lineup. Nathan Eovaldi made his spring training debut on Saturday with a perfect two innings and four strikeouts.
The Rangers picked up their first win, 13-4, on Sunday against the Cleveland Guardians. Corey Seager in that game hit his first home run of the spring and had a double as well.
Let's take a look at three players whose arrow is pointing up and three players whose arrow is pointing down right now. Then we will take a look at three things to be watching for this upcoming week.
1. Robbie Grossman
Grossman was the last significant signing for the Rangers this winter. He was added just before camp got underway. That has not stopped him at all from getting off to a solid start in these first weekend. He hit a 2-run home run on Friday off of Daniel Lynch. He hit that batting right-handed. Then on Sunday he had an RBI-single batting left-handed, as well as two walks. The Rangers do not need Grossman to be great, but if he can be good that would be a huge boost to their lineup compared to 2022 when they had the worst left-field production in all of Major League Baseball.
2. Justin Foscue
The 2020 first-round pick has gotten off to a solid start this spring. He has now played in three games and has hit two home runs, has three hits overall, and has an RBI in each game he has played. He did have an error playing 3b on Friday. He is not known as a strong defender and was playing a position that he is not as familiar with. He could position himself to be called up this season. It likely will not be at his natural position of 2b. 2023 for Foscue will be about learning how to be a more utility-type player. The bat will play at the major league level. It will be about being a good enough defender at multiple positions. That is likely his route to playing in a Rangers uniform in 2023 and beyond.
3. Nathan Eovaldi
He went out for his first spring start on Saturday and was absolutely filthy. He looked ready for Opening Day in his two innings. He was quick to the plate, his curveball and splitter had bite to them and he was able to strike out four batters. There is a good chance that Team USA in the World Baseball Classic will regret not taking Nathan Eovaldi for the upcoming tournament. Jacob deGrom is likely starting Opening Day, but the rotation after deGrom is not set. Eovaldi with more performances as he had on Saturday may set himself up to slide into the number two spot in the rotation.