Texas Rangers working through pitching staff call-ups ahead of opening day, 2024 season


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The Texas Rangers are sorting through their pitching staff ahead of a highly anticipated opening day against the Chicago Cubs.

The 2023 World Series champions will host the Cubs in Arlington, Texas, March 28. Last year, the Rangers won the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

“We have some spots open. We have some, you know, good candidates for those spots, both on roster, and non-roster,” Bruce Bochy, manager of the Rangers, told reporters Feb. 14, ahead of spring training.

Bochy’s staff includes closers José Leclerc and David Robertson and relievers Josh Sborz and Kirby Yates, among others.

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Jose Leclerc hyped

José Leclerc of the Texas Rangers is a key high-leverage closer for the organization. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

“They came on at the right time,” Bochy said of Leclerc and Sborz, his high-leverage, late-inning guys in the 2023 season. “Then, you know, you get into Robertson and Yates. With their experience, they’re gonna make our bullpen so much better.”

Robertson reached a one-year deal with the Rangers in late January with a mutual option for 2025.

“I’m ready,” Robertson told reporters after a 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals March 8 in Surprise, Arizona. 

The game was Robertson’s Cactus League debut with the Rangers, and he pitched an inning and gave up no runs. 

“Let’s start the season. We can skip all the spring training games,” Robertson said. 

Robertson is preparing for a versatile role on the Rangers’ roster and told reporters he will do what is asked of him, within reason.

Bochy said his starting rotation is not finalized, and he’s using camp to thin out his bullpen and possibly add another body to his starting lineup.

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“September; it’s a tough schedule,” he said. “We got 17 consecutive games there. So, you know, we’re probably gonna need a sixth starter in there to give those guys a break, too, and have some multiple inning guys in that bullpen.”

Bochy is feeling good about his team ahead of opening day.

“I think we’re in a better position right now when you look at the bullpen,” Bochy told reporters. In 2023, the Rangers started their season with a win on opening day, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 11-7. “I think we’re a little bit stronger than where we were last year.

“We have more options now,” he said of his pitching staff. “That’s a sigh of relief.”

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Bochy did acknowledge some of his players are “a little banged up,” including three of his starting infielders who are not yet ready to play.

Attendance for the Rangers in 2023 was up nearly 26% from 2022, according to ESPN. This year, the season is slated to start the same way it did in 2023 with a packed house in Arlington and all 30 MLB teams playing on opening day. Before last year, this hadn’t been the case since 1968.

Game time for Rangers-Cubs is 7:35 p.m. ET March 28.



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