Rangers roster and schedule
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Texas Rangers roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Texas Rangers roster and schedule:

RANGERS ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Rangers roster to begin the season, give or take:

Catchers

Robinson Chirinos
Jeff Mathis
Jose Trevino

Infielders:

Todd Frazier
Rougned Odor
Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Elvis Andrus
Ronald Guzmán
Greg Bird
Yadiel Rivera
Nick Solak

Outfielders

Willie Calhoun
Danny Santana
Joey Gallo
Scott Heineman
Nick Solak
Adolis García
Shin-Soo Choo

Starters

Lance Lynn
Mike Minor
Corey Kluber
Kyle Gibson
Jordan Lyles

Relievers

José Leclerc
Nick Goody
Jesse Chavez
Jonathan Hernández
Taylor Hearn
Luke Farrell
Joe Palumbo
Kolby Allard,


BREAKDOWN:

The Rangers were kind of frisky early last season before falling off. It’s a pretty standard pattern for a talented club on the rise but not quite there. They obviously have a long way to go before they can truly challenge the Astros or Athletics in the AL West, but they’ll be closer to it this year than last. It’s a team heading in the right direction.

Adding Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles to the staff to help out Lance Lynn and Mike Minor will help a lot. In an age where starters and bullpenning is increasingly the order of the day, Texas has a positively throwback sort of rotation. A set slate of five guys who look pretty dang solid.

On offense, Joey Gallo might’ve been an MVP candidate if not for mid-season wrist problems. Both left fielder Willie Calhoun and center fielder Danny Santana had breakout seasons in 2019 as well. Calhoun had a hip problem hampering through most of summer camp but he should be ready for Opening Day on Friday. Todd Frazier will add some pop to a corner. Likely first base, actually, as Isiah Kiner-Falefa has impressed in spring training and in summer camp, snagging the third base job.

All in all it was a solid, if incremental offseason for the Rangers, who are counting on the return-to-health of Kluber and Gallo, the increased depth of the rotation taking some strain off the bullpen, and the maturation of others to improve a team that was already heading in the right direction. Between that and the fact that they are moving into a new stadium this season — complete with air conditioning — will make this a pretty interesting year for the Rangers.

 

RANGERS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Rangers home stands will be July 24-29 (Rockies, Diamondbacks), August 7-12 (Angels, Mariners), August 17-18 (Padres), August 24-30 (Athletics, Dodgers), September 8-13 (Angels, Athletics), September 24-27 (Astros)

The entire Rangers roster and schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”