HomeMLB RumorsRangers Notes: Seager, Jung, Langford, Bradford

Rangers Notes: Seager, Jung, Langford, Bradford

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Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News had some positive updates from Rangers camp on Friday, reporting that manager Bruce Bochy is “more optimistic” that Corey Seager and Josh Jung will both be in the Opening Day lineup at the end of the month. Seager had surgery on a sports hernia about six weeks ago, while Josh Jung has been nursing a calf strain since mid-February. Neither has played a game thus far in spring training, but both players figure to be key pieces for the club as it looks to defend its 2023 World Series championship this season.

Seager, 30 next month, won World Series MVP honors during the club’s title run in the fall and slashed an excellent .327/.390/.623 en route to his fourth All Star appearance and a second-place finish in AL MVP voting. Jung, meanwhile, made his first career All Star appearance and finish fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting on the heels of a solid rookie campaign that saw him hit a respectable .266/.315/.467 in 122 games. Losing either player for an extended period would be a significant blow to the Rangers’ chances in a competitive AL West that’s seen the Astros add star closer Josh Hader while seeming also pursuing two-time Cy Young award winner Blake Snell while the Mariners have completely retooled their starting lineup to add threatening players such as Jorge Polanco and former Ranger Mitch Garver.

Of course, the Rangers have versatile youngster Ezequiel Duran able to help out on the left side of the infield if either Jung or Seager were to open the season on the shelf. Duran, 25 in May, slashed a solid .276/.324/.443 in 439 trips to the plate last year while splitting time between all four infield spots and both outfield corners. With that being said, Duran could already be tabbed to cover for first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, who is also questionable for Opening Day due to an oblique strain. Aside from Duran, the Rangers have Jose Barrero and Josh Smith as infield depth options should Seager, Jung, and Lowe start the season on the shelf.

More from Rangers camp…

  • Grant also notes that, according to GM Chris Young, top prospect Wyatt Langford has done “everything he can” to make a case for himself as a member of the Opening Day roster. Langford, 22, was the club’s first-round pick in the 2023 draft and slashed an incredible .360/.480/.677 in 200 plate appearances across four levels of the minors down the stretch last season. He’s continued to tear the cover off the ball this spring with a .361/.442/.806 in 43 trips to the plate during camp. Should Langford make the roster, he’d figure to factor into the club’s outfield/DH mix alongside Evan Carter, Adolis Garcia, and Leody Taveras.
  • While Young didn’t make any commitments to Langford as a regular entering the season, he told reporters (including Grant) recently that left-hander Cody Bradford is going to be in the club’s starting rotation to open the season. With Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, and Dane Dunning all seemingly locked into rotation spots of their own, that would appear to preclude the club from making additions such as former Ranger Jordan Montgomery to their starting mix prior to Opening Day. When asked about the possibility of further rotation additions, Young was noncommittal, simply stating that “The group we have is the group we have, and it’s a great group.” Bradford has certainly done everything he can to earn a rotation spot this spring, pitching to a 2.45 ERA across four appearances including three starts.

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