Texas Rangers Roster
- AL West
- Globe Life Field
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jacob deGrom had a rare off day on Thursday, allowing five runs on six hits over just 3 2/3 innings in his Opening Day start against the Philadelphia Phillies. It won't go down as a loss since the Rangers bats got to Aaron Nola and the Phillies bullpen, but it was not a usual deGrom game. On the bright side, he didn't walk a batter and still managed seven strikeouts. It was probably just a fluky game for one of the best pitchers in baseball, as his velocity was just fine and his movement appeared normal, too. Don't panic, as he'll still be dominant as long as he remains healthy.
Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung will hit fifth in the batting order on Opening Day against right-hander Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies. It's a big season upcoming for the former eighth overall pick as Jung should see nearly everyday action at third base if his bat can show up as advertised. The 25-year-old hit just .204 in his big-league debut last season but also slugged five homers while posting a strong .214 isolated power across 102 trips to the plate. Jung's 0.10 BB/K will need to gain significant improvement moving forward but he should get plenty of leash to show off his raw power for a Rangers team looking to jump back into contention in the 2023 campaign.
Texas Rangers relief pitcher Taylor Hearn is expected to make the team's Opening Day roster out of the bullpen after the Rangers sent John King to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. The projected bullpen to enter the year consists of Jonathan Hernandez, closer Jose Leclerc, Will Smith, Brock Burke, Cole Ragans, Dane Dunning, Ian Kennedy and Hearn. The 28-year-old left-hander struggled this spring and had a 5.13 ERA (3.98 FIP), 1.50 WHIP, one save and a career-high 97 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched over 31 appearances (13 starts) for Texas in his fourth year in the big leagues in 2022. Hearn is expected to be a middle reliever for the Rangers this year, and he won't have much fantasy appeal whatsoever.
Texas Rangers outfielder Travis Jankowski is expected to make the Opening Day roster as a bench player with Leody Taveras (oblique) set to open up the 2023 regular season on the injured list with a left oblique strain. Jankowski will mostly be useful for his defense and speed on the basepaths off the bench for the Rangers, but fantasy managers in mixed leagues can ignore him for now. The 31-year-old left-handed hitter spent the 2022 campaign with the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners, hitting a combined .164/.281/.164 with no home runs, two RBI, 11 runs scored and three steals in 44 games. In his eight big-league seasons, he's produced a weak .236/.319/.310 slash line with a .630 OPS, nine home runs, 54 RBI and 72 stolen bases in 470 games.
The Texas Rangers optioned left-hander John King to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. The team also re-signed right-hander Dominic Leone to a minor-league deal and assigned him to Round Rock. Outfielder Dustin Harris' option was transferred from Round Rock to Double-A Frisco. The Rangers would like to see King work in the minors to begin the 2023 season after he posted a 5.06 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, four walks and 12 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings during the Cactus League this spring. The 28-year-old southpaw reliever has a 4.01 ERA (3.91 FIP), 1.35 WHIP and weak 17 percent strikeout rate in his three seasons with the Rangers. King is well off the fantasy radar.