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Texas Rangers 2024 Roster Projection: Key Injuries, Bullpen Battle May Alter Opening Day Look

The Texas Rangers are likely to start the 2024 World Series championship-defending season without two or three starters on the field and several new faces in the bullpen.

The Texas Rangers have 16 days before Opening Day.

In many ways, that's plenty of time to prepare for the March 28 season opener against the Chicago Cubs at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

On the other hand, several major decisions remain to be made throughout the 26-man roster.

Key injuries to starting infielders Corey Seager, Josh Jung, and Nathaniel Lowe have forced manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff to view the remaining couple of bench spots differently while their starting shortstop, first baseman, and third baseman are unavailable. They are hopeful that Jung will return to start at third by Opening Day. Seager and Lowe, however, appear destined to return later.

The final few bullpen spots also remain a tight competition. The final couple of spots are likely to come down to right-handers Diego Castillo, Marc Church, and Grant Anderson. Anderson has thrown well this spring and is a known commodity after pitching in 26 games for the Rangers in 2023. The hard-throwing Castillo had exceptional strikeout numbers with the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners through 2022. Last season, however, Castillo's velocity dipped, and he struggled with his control. He had a 6.23 ERA in eight MLB appearances and wasn't much better in the Mariners' minor league system, collecting a 5.13 ERA in 47.1 innings in Triple-A.

“He stays at the bottom of the zone and attacks the zone with both pitches," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. "I think it's been a good spring for him at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing him every time he goes out because he's part of the competition to make this bullpen.”

Marc Church, 22, has seven strikeouts, two walks, and one hit allowed in seven scoreless innings this spring, but he'll likely be sent to Triple-A Round Rock for more seasoning to start the year.

Texas Rangers 26-Man Opening Day Roster Projection:

Starting Pitchers (5):  RHP Nathan Eovaldi; RHP Dane Dunning; RHP Jon Gray; LHP Andrew Heaney; LHP Cody Bradford

Bullpen (8): RHP Jose Leclerc; RHP David Robertson; RHP Kirby Yates; RHP Josh Sborz; LHP Brock Burke; RHP Yerry Rodriguez; RHP Diego Castillo; RHP Grant Anderson

Infield (5): Jared Walsh, 1B; Marcus Semien, 2B; Ezequiel Duran, SS; Josh Jung, 3B; Jonah Heim, C.

Outfielders (4): Evan Carter, LF; Leody Taveras, CF; Adolis Garcia, RF; Wyatt Langford (DH)

Bench (4): Travis Jankowski, OF; Matt Duffy, INF; Josh Smith, INF; Andrew Knizner, C.

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