Biggest Pitcher-Hitter Matchup For Texas Rangers On Wednesday Won't Be Found In Box Score

All-Star third baseman Josh Jung is scheduled to face live pitching against right-hander Tyler Mahle during a live bullpen session before the Rangers-Dodgers game Wednesday at Dodgers Stadium. It's an important step in both of their surgery recoveries.
Jun 9, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers injured third baseman Josh Jung runs before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers injured third baseman Josh Jung runs before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The most important pitcher-hitter matchup for the Texas Rangers on Wednesday won't be in the box score.

In fact, it won't even occur during Game 2 between the Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium.

It will feature Rangers All-Star third baseman Josh Jung facing right-hander Tyler Mahle. Both are recovering from surgery and inching closer to joining the roster.

And, boy, could the Rangers use them both, especially after the Dodgers bludgeoned them 15-2 on Tuesday night. Jung, who has been on the injured list with a wrist fracture since the first week of the season, is expected to face Mahle before Wednesday's game, probably about 20 pitches. It's a litmus test for both. Mahle is nearing the end of his year-long recovery from Tommy John surgery.

"Right now, the plan for him is to face live pitching here [Wednesday], to face Mahle," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "And then once you do that, you're getting close."

Depending on how Jung feels swinging the bat, the club will determine his next steps.

"We'll see how it comes out. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, So we'll see how he feels swinging," Bochy said. Jung's next step will be a short but extensive rehab assignment in the minors. Bochy said July 1 isn't impossible for Jung to be ready to rejoin the Rangers starting lineup.

Bochy did couch the prospect of Jung returning by July 1 with a word of caution.

"Even though we're still trying to find our way [with the current roster], we don't want to rush anybody," he said. "We're not putting them at risk."

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Stefan Stevenson

STEFAN STEVENSON

Stefan Stevenson worked as a journalist and editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 25 years, covering sports, concerts, and general news. His beats have included the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, and Texas Christian University football.