Isiah Kiner-Falefa was only five games into his first Triple-A season when he got called up by the Texas Rangers in early April. A few days later Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , Ronald Guzman got promoted and also made his big-league debut.
When Texas reached the midpoint of the regular season this week, the 23-year-old rookies were among eight position players on the roster who are 25 or younger.
While the Rangers were on a 70-win pace after a loss in the 81st of their 162 games, they’ve had a recent uptick. They have won nine of their last 11 games while claiming four consecutive series in a stretch when veteran stalwarts Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus were finally back in the lineup together.
In the 82nd game Wednesday night, when the Rangers (36-46) started the second half of their schedule before an off day Thursday, lefty Mike Minor took a perfect game into the seventh of a 5-2 victory over San Diego. Keone Kela, the hard-throwing 25-year-old closer, got his 20th save – the most in the majors without a blown chance and a club record to start a season.
”When you take all the individual parts of the first half and you look and evaluate players of where they’re trending, they’re trending in the right direction athletically as well as mentally of how they play the baseball game,” fourth-year manager Jeff Banister said. ”We’ve gained some knowledge, and some guys have proven to themselves that they can play at this level and where they’re at and what they need to work on.”
General manager Jon Daniels has said publicly several times that the team’s priority this season is the development of its young players.
Young sluggers Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo were already regulars in the lineup before this season, along with second baseman Rougned Odor. Speedy center fielder Delino DeShields has been a constant since returning from a broken bone in his left hand, an injury that occurred the first weekend of the season.
”Our coaches, they’ve put that development hat on John Gibson Jersey ,” Banister said. ”You watch them every day on the field, different players working on different things that we feel like they’re going to help these players out for the longer term, for the bigger picture.”
Kiner-Falefa was called up when Odor, the 23-year-old already in his fourth season with Texas, went on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Andrus, the shortstop in his 10th season at age 29, suffered a broken elbow when hit by a pitch just a couple of days later. Beltre had more hamstring issues.
”Everything happened so quick,” said Kiner-Falefa, who has two starts at catcher after previous starts at second base, third base and shortstop. ”I’m trying to soak it all in. … It’s been a cool experience. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from everyone here, and all the veterans.”
Guzman has 51 starts at first base, though he is on the seven-day concussion disabled list. The Rangers were batting when Guzman slammed his head into a knee on an attempted pickoff Monday.
Profar was 19 when he homered in his first big league at-bat in 2012, but he missed all of the 2014 and 2015 seasons because of right shoulder issues. He split each of the last two seasons between the Rangers and Triple-A Round Rock Authentic Josh Manson Jersey , but has started at all four infield positions this year in his most consistent action in the majors.
”I’ve got a really good chance to experience the big leagues, a lot of things that you want to work to be consistent on,” Profar said. ”We have very good young players here, we’re all learning. It’s going to be good for us going down the road.”
Nolan Arenado should have no trouble getting to sleep now.
Arenado homered for the third straight game and drove in five runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday. After hitting .171 while the Rockies lost eight of 10 over the last two weeks, Arenado hit .538 in the last three games.
”When you’re losing and you’re not getting hits it hurts,” Arenado said. ”It keeps me up at night.”
Arenado also doubled to back another strong outing from Kyle Freeland (7-6). Freeland has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his last 11 starts and has emerged as the team’s most reliable starter.
Arenado had just two home runs in his first 15 games of June, but has four in his last seven. He put the Rockies ahead 3-1 with a three-run homer in the first off Steven Matz (3-5), his 16th of the season.
He delivered a two-run double in the second to drive in five for the second time this season. He also had five RBIs at the Chicago Cubs on May 2.
”Today was a special day. I’m not going to drive in five every game,” he said.
Todd Frazier gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first with his eighth homer. New York has lost three in a row after winning three straight.
The Mets got within two runs when Frazier and Michael Conforto led off the eighth with singles. Yency Almonte, making his major league debut, relieved Chris Rusin and allowed one inherited runner to score that made it 5-3 before getting an inning-ending double play.
It was the fifth double-play grounder by New York on the afternoon. The Rockies tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game by inducing five ground-ball double plays. It’s only the third time in any game the Rockies induced five groundout double plays.
Freeland got out of three jams with double plays.
”He made some really good pitches down,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I’ve seen Freeland in the past, he does a good job of executing the balls just down under the zone. If you chase one and put it in play Ondrej Kase Jersey , it becomes a double play.”
Gerardo Parra’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth restored the three-run lead. New York got one back when Kevin Plawecki tripled in the ninth and came home on a groundout. Dominic Smith doubled with two outs, but Jake McGee struck out Brandon Nimmo to get his first save of the season.
Mets: INF Asdrubal Cabrera was out of the lineup, but Callaway said he was fine a day after hitting his left elbow making a tag. … Callaway said OF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip flexor) did some stretching and the hope is he progresses in the next few days.
Arenado has only 14 career at-bats against Matz but he’s made them count. He is hitting .357 with four home runs and 12 RBIs against the Mets’ lefty after Thursday.
”I threw a couple of bad pitches and Arenado beat me twice,” Matz said. ”That really sums up the whole game.”
Matz struck out Arenado looking in the fourth and settled down to go 5 2-3 innings.
”When you put your team in a hole like that you gotta look ahead and go as deep as you can,” Matz said.
Before the game, the Rockies recalled Almonte from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned INF Ryan McMahon to their top farm team. Almonte said he was struggling with nerves when he jogged to the mound in the eighth.
”I came in and it was first and third and I thought, `I need to do something, get a ground ball or a fly out,”’ Almonte said. ”That was huge for me.”
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82) will open a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Wheeler has gone six or more innings in nine of his 13 starts.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (6-7, 5.89) takes the mound in the opener of a weekend series against Miami. Gray has allowed 12 earned runs in three June starts and holds a 6.75 ERA for the month.