This is the digital version of The Windup newsletter. Sign up here to receive this content directly in your inbox every morning.
The Texas Rangers are threatening to reverse their 68-94 record from a year ago, and it looks like this weekend was baseball’s sweep week. I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal — Welcome to Windup!
My Description: Very Talented Man, Take Notes
The challenge in writing about the Rangers’ 2023 season isn’t identifying what’s working, but putting everything that’s working into one section. Below is an incomplete list:
• Marcus Semien has a .303 batting average (.877 OPS) and a 23-game hitting streak.
• Josh Jung was named AL Rookie of the Month for both April and May. Not only was he a power hitter (.518 slugging, 12 homers), he was also an impressive third baseman.
• Nathan Iovaldi: Since May 1: 6 games, 5-0, 0.82 ERA, 4 runs.
• John Gray Since May 1: 5-0 in 6 of his last 5 starts, 1.60 ERA, 3 runs.
• Jonah Haim – already one of the league’s top defenders – is batting .293/.345/.478 (OPS.823) and his 2.2 fWAR is second best among catchers (Sean Murphy , 2.9).
• Corey Seager and Mitch Gerber, both sidelined by injury, are now healthy and have over 1,000 OPS marks. Seager has more RBIs (29) than games played (27).
• Adris Garcia is tied with Jordan Alvarez for the league lead with 51 RBIs.
• Since 1900, only the 1936 Yankees (16) have scored as many in double figures in their first 58 games.
• Travis Jankowski batted .301 and hit a home run (and a likely wall-top) in yesterday’s 12-3 win over the Mariners. By the way, the Mariners’ pitching has been objectively very good, with the Rangers dropping 28 points to the Mariners in their last two games and outscoring them 30-9 in three straight games.
• Leads the league in runs scored (376), RBI (362), RBI (+167), batting average (.278), on-base percentage (.345), least home runs (52), and least hits. It’s in the top 3 on many other sites, such as (451), but we’re running out of space.
They did all of this during a season that saw Seager miss five weeks with a torn hamstring, Gerber and Jankowski also missing significantly, and Jacob deGrom out since April 28 with an injured right elbow. ing.
GM Chris Young has been consistent this offseason. Although he didn’t expect the team to make it to the World Series after a year’s 68-94 record, many felt optimistic that he would be in contention for a playoff spot.
The bullpen still needs to strengthen before the trade deadline (although Grant Anderson has struck out eight of the 13 hitters he’s faced since his debut), but the team could outperform even Young’s optimism. There seems to be
Ken’s Corner: Admiring Aaron Judge
Several people who watched the post-fight interview with Aaron Judge on Fox on Saturday noticed the slight height difference between us. In fact, anyone who watched the interview and had at least one working eye probably noticed. Afterwards, several people took to Twitter to point out that Judge is essentially the size of the Empire State Building and I’m no taller than an average Dachshund.
Anyway, all was good until SI.com on Sunday delivered the uh, low blow. The headline, “MLB Fans Joking About Yankees’ Aaron Judge Towering Over Reporters,” read, “Judges are ranked 6th and 7th, but Rosenthal is Twitter’s self. In the introduction, he claims to be 5-4 1/2 tall.”
claim to be? Like I make up for it? Why not brag?
It wasn’t the first time I was interviewing a judge side by side on TV. It was my first time interviewing him at Dodger Stadium, where the cameras were set pretty low, just above the surface of the field. And let’s just say that this angle didn’t do a good job of showing us eye to eye contact.
Mind you, being short is nothing new to me. Some anonymous family members have asked if I can stand on the box when interviewing taller players, but Fox never asked me to do that, and I does not want to be associated with such shameless duplicity.
Besides, the judge needs a ladder instead of a box.
This is good news for SI and any other heavy hitter looking to jump on the news that Aaron Judge is taller than me. The Yankees will air on FOX from Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park for the next two weeks. Once the judges hit the green monster a home run or even run through it, we’ll be back together again. Like Simon & Garfunkel. Or maybe Laurel and Hardy.
I’m counting the days until the July 8th broadcast, Mariners vs. Astros, will feature my favorite player to interview, Jose Altuve. Who “claims to be” 5-6.
clean for sleep
Rangers were just one of them Five Teams (maybe 6) that completed the sweep over the weekend. others:
Pittsburgh swept St. Louis, who lost 25-35 to the National League Worst. David Bednar recorded saves in all three games for the Pirates.
• The Blue Jays swept the Mets. Both teams went into the series with equal 30-27 records, but the Mets’ bullpen is in a slump and Vlad Guerrero Jr. appears to be nearing a turning point.
• The Marlins have taken the Athletics by storm, which frankly seems a bit predictable and mainstream at this point. Come on Marlins. Also, I would like to pay tribute to his A’s fans who crowdfunded the related fan giveaway project on June 13th.
• The White Sox swept the Tigers, but all three points in the game were scored on wild pitches, including a walk-off run when a pitch hit the umpire of Musk. One of the special moments was Liam Hendricks’ first victory of the year on National Cancer Survivor’s Day after recovering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Monday. On the Tigers side, Cody Stavenhagen shared a heartwarming story about teammates Zach Short and Jason Foley. They are two of only three players from the Sacred Heart to make it to the major leagues.
• And tonight the Brewers could crush the Reds. Jesse Winker He’s back where he spent the first five years of his major league career and has been winning so far.
Do you miss the villain who took you to paradise?
Baseball is better with Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman has already attempted one rehab mission this year to recover from biceps and rotator cuff surgery, but that was cut short. He started his second run over the weekend and talked about it with C. Trent Rosecrans before he left.
“I couldn’t catch the ball. I couldn’t reach when I wanted to. If you can’t catch the ball and you can’t catch it with the bat, you can’t play,” Vott said (of his first rehab mission). “I can play, but eventually I can’t. When I went to rehab for the first time, I felt like I was different. I felt weak. It hurt the whole time. I wasn’t strong at all. It lacked everything I needed to perform consistently, and after about six weeks of rehab, live work, and steady work, I felt like I was in a place to start rehab. I feel like“
It could be Bott’s final year in Cincinnati — the team has a $20 million option next year, with a $7 million buyout — so here’s hoping he plays chess. It is a handwritten oral history notebook.
So far, the second rehabilitation task has not been very successful. He’s 0-for-6, including a walk, but it takes time to get the timing right.
handshake and high five
Speaking of the baseball-basketball crossover, did you know that Buck Showalter was a high school and junior college basketball umpire? The back quote is really charming.
This newsletter deals with big-picture terms, so don’t miss it here. Here’s Jason Stark’s rundown of what we’ve learned in his first 60 or so games of the season.
Aaron Judge will continue to be Aaron Judge. In addition to his home runs, his defense has been sensational this year. Over the weekend, he played Kool-Aid Man on the walls of Los Angeles. Watch the video embedded in the story to understand how the man in the chair narrowly escaped death. A judge may have injured his toe on a catch.
The Astros selected Forrest Whitley in the first round of the 2016 draft. The 25-year-old is yet to make it to the major leagues, and his recent injuries have made his future with the Astros even more uncertain.
Andy McCullough’s mailbag begins with a shocking message: “How do we feel about the Shohei Ohtani trade market?”
Zach Meisel completes the Cleveland Baseball Countdown, with Jim Tohm standing alone in first place.
Roger Craig, the great Major League Baseball pitcher and beloved former San Francisco Giants manager, has died at the age of 93.
From late last week: A great profile on Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbyn’s wife, Maggie, who helps run the program.
It’s time again for me and Steven Nesbitt to preview upcoming MLB action on the On Deck podcast.
It’s hard to beat the Rays this year. It becomes even more difficult when you do things like:
(Photo by Marcus Semien: Sam Hodde/Getty Images)