Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando are on the disabled list, Roy Oswalt is scuffling in the minors, and Scott Feldman is 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA, so the Rangers have decided to dip down to Double-A for their latest rotation reinforcement.
Justin Grimm will be called up from Double-A to make his big-league debut Saturday against the Astros, which the 23-year-old right-hander admitted was “kind of unexpected, to be honest.”
Grimm has pitched extremely well at Double-A, throwing 77 innings with a 1.73 ERA and 67/14 K/BB ratio, and had just been named a Texas League All-Star when he got the news. However, he’s also not considered a top prospect and has made just 13 total starts above Single-A.
It’s hard to imagine Grimm sticking in the majors even if he thrives initially, but for now the Rangers are just looking for some short-term help while waiting on Oswalt to show he’s ready.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.