Texas Rangers Spring Training: Mike Minor Talks Rotation and Offseason Additions
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Texas Rangers starting pitching Mike Minor is never one to shy away when it comes to speaking his mind. Whether it has to do with how he got his 200th strikeout in 2019, or the state of the club, Minor has always openly expressed his opinions.
Earlier this week, Mike Minor opened up about the 2019 season and how the club performed under new manager Chris Woodward, and what that means heading into the 2020 season.
"I think to build on last year, Woody came in last year and had a good mindset, a good mentality for the group and to push us," said Minor about the change in culture. "He likes bringing in competition, he likes everyone to compete and to bring out the best in everybody."
Woodward's mentality of bringing in competition has helped the Rangers put the best product they can onto the field. The manager has brought in Greg Bird, he is allowing Nick Solak to earn the everyday centerfielder role, and has brought in veterans like Matt Duffy, and Cody Allen to compete for Major League spots. Furthermore, the skipper has put some of his more veteran everyday players on notice, such as Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor, telling them that they will need to step up production-wise in order to maintain their standing on the squad.
Building on his competition comments, Minor also discussed the quality veterans that were brought on to the club in order to help the team contend for a coveted postseason spot.
"It's quality guys, it's quality innings, good middle makeup, guys who have won Cy Young awards, All-Stars," Minor said. "I think if me and Lance [Lynn] can build off of what we did last year, then bringing these guys in, we are going to do really well on the pitching side. Then, we brought a couple guys in. With [Todd] Frazier coming in, I feel like he is going to be a leader in the clubhouse. They've brought in a couple of other guys in that could help us out."
Despite missing out on their top target in the offseason, third baseman Anthony Rendon, General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels quickly pivoted to immediately upgrade the club and rotation by trading for two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
Daniels also added Todd Frazier, who as Minor alluded to, could be a huge veteran presence in the clubhouse, something that has been lacking since the retirement of Adrian Beltre. These additions make Texas a much more formidable squad than they were in 2018 or 2019.
However, it's not just about the veteran pieces that were added, or the lottery pieces signed on Minor League deals. Instead, it's the young guys like Joe Palumbo, Brock Burke and Kolby Allard, who are on the cusp of the big leagues that could truly propel this team in 2020 and beyond.
"The young guys are coming up to us. Everyone here is open to helping those young guys," Minor said. "We want those guys to be as good as they can, as quick as they can, so they can help us out at the Major League level."
It is almost certain that no starting rotation will go through an entire season without some type of injury or set back. These fringe players will be called upon to step up and perform this season, and Minor realizes that as he has conveyed through his comments.
As spring has sprung, this baseball club has higher hopes than the 79.5 wins BetOnline set for the Rangers' over/under win total. The additional veteran presence on the field and in the rotation will pay dividends throughout the long season.
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