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:
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.
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)