While Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram poured some cold water on Craig’s report about Roy Oswalt, he added that the Rangers have spoken with the Orioles about Ty Wigginton and the Marlins about Wes Helms. The club is currently seeking a right-handed bat to serve as the primary backup at first base and third base.
It makes plenty of sense for the Rangers to get some sort of veteran steward behind rookie first baseman Justin Smoak. We’re still talking about a pretty small sample size here, but the 23-year-old switch-hitter is batting .272/.395/.466 in 103 at-bats against right-handers compared to a meager .096/.186/.192 triple-slash in 52 at-bats against southpaws. He put up similar splits on the minor league level, so it would behoove them to acquire a complimentary right-handed bat if they hope to contend in the American League West.
Just earlier today, Aaron mentioned that the Rangers were in the mix for Conor Jackson while on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Rangers were still in talks to acquire Mike Lowell from the Red Sox. Boy, those crazy kids have quickly become the best “will they or won’t they” storyline since Jim and Pam. Synergy, folks!
Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.
The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.
This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”