I’ve been in trial the last couple days, where days go fast and minutes, at times, go excruciatingly slow, and that put me relatively out of touch as far as baseball goes.
I’ve read very little, I’ve written nothing, I’ve tweeted less (you’re welcome).
The Rangers have gotten 75 players into their first five games, four of which go in the books as losses. That statistic is meaningless, as is every other number in a first week that has no hitter in double-digit plate appearances yet, and no pitcher with more than two innings logged. Delino DeShields walks and Mike Napoli run-scoring hits and three strikeouts in Rule 5 righthander Mike Hauschild’s first frame as a Ranger are all intriguing, but the only stat with any real shelf life is Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s two-run homer in the seventh inning of yesterday’s 8–4 loss to Arizona.
Kiner-Falefa, a middle infielder-catcher whose versatility gives him big league upside, has zero home runs in 1,367 professional plate appearances.
Props to him.
And props to the great Ken Rosenthal, whose phenomenally good Tuesday story he wrote about Tony Beasley I made time for, and you should, too.
And props as well to Ray Davis, who doesn’t often speak publicly, giving added weight to his adrenalizing Tuesday comments about Yu Darvish — not the part where the Rangers co-managing partner said he expects the righthander to win the Cy Young in 2017, but the part where he noted that Darvish has “expressed an interest to stay here, and we’d love to have him” — and particularly given Davis’s role in how that story plays out, that’s a helluva good thing to read, and far more meaningful than Martin Perez’s 2–4–2–2–1–0, Ryan Rua’s 1 for 8, or a 1–4 win-loss record, though you’ll forgive me, I hope, if I’m getting more and more curious about Andy Ibanez’s at-bats.
I don’t know if Texas will sign Venezuelan catcher Daniel Flores (please please please please) and Venezuelan shortstop Keyber Rodriguez on July 2, as Baseball America predicts, or if they do whether the new Dominican Republic academy that the Rangers are reportedly building will be ready when they report to Triki League.
I don’t know if Josh will play again.
I don’t know if Hauschild will stick or if Yu will extend or if Sam Dyson’s wrist sprain will keep him out of the WBC or if I’ll ever be able to spell Austin Bibens-Dirkx without checking.
There’s lots that we don’t know two weeks and a few games into camp, and that’s as it should be. This is all just preparation, player development in a concentrated setting, the prelude to that which counts.
Spring training is a sure thing, though as eagerly as we await its arrival every winter, it does not go fast and, almost always, feels excruciatingly slow, which was absolutely not the point of those “86,400” shirts. I’ve been away a couple days, but I didn’t miss much.
Which is not to say I didn’t miss it.
In a little more than five hours Perez faces off against former Rangers farmhand Jesse Chavez and the hated (4–0) Angels, and I’ll catch Jared Sandler and Dominic Cotroneo calling it on the webcast while turning the sound down on the Angels’ TV broadcast, which Fox Sports Southwest will carry.
I’ll be pulling for Perez to smooth out that ERA and for Ibanez to get an at-bat or two and for a little schadenfreude at Los Angeles’s expense because, though none of this really matters, this is baseball and now this is March and today I’m out of trial, ready for the excruciatingly slow prelude to keep me company through maybe 10,000 of today’s 86,400.