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2019 Baseball Road Trip

August 25, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
This the final season of the Texas Rangers stadium.
This is the final season for Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas

Mike Dominguez, an old friend and long-time Fantasy league-mate of ours, went on a baseball road trip to Texas on August 16, to see the Twins and Rangers. He took some pics (all photos in this article are his) and offered some notes, so let’s take a closer look at what we saw and learned from these games…

Mike chose to visit Globe Life Park as 2019 marks the stadium’s final season. It’s been the home of the Texas Rangers since 1994, but next season they will move into a new stadium (see below).

The Rangers were hosting the surprising AL Central-leading Twins on this night, the second of a three-game series, with the opener a landslide 13-6 win for Minny.

Jonathan Schoop played a big role for the Minnesota Twins.
Jonathan Schoop (at bat) spanked a big homer to help the Twins win.

The Twinkies got a pair of dingers in this one, the second of which was a two-run blast by Jonathan Schoop in the seventh inning to give Minnesota a come from behind win, 4-3.

Schoop’s been plodding along lately, without a multi-hit game since July 24 and has really struggled this month after a solid July. He’s been the team’s primary second baseman, but by no means is he playing every day. Still, Schoop has enjoyed a decent bounce back effort after a horrible 2018.

Jake Odorizzi has cooled off for the Minnesota Twins.
Jake Odorizzi has struggled to get through six innings lately.

Jake Odorizzi was on the mound for the Twins and once again he struggled to go deep into the game, lasting 5 2/3 IP. That’s nine times out of his last 10 outings he’s pitched fewer than six frames. One June 9, Odorizzi was looking like the best pitcher in the AL, with a 9-2 mark and 1.92 ERA. Since then, he’s 4-3 with his ERA rising to 3.50. Still, Odorizzi has definitely turned things around after an ugly July, and once again, he’s managed to improve his homer rate this season.

Jorge Polanco is enjoying a career year for the Minnesota Twins.
Despite a recent slump, Jorge Polanco, taking a pitch here, is enjoying a career year.

Shortstop Jorge Polanco, was taking a turn as the DH but he put up an 0-for-4 and struck out once. He’s been in a bit of an offensive funk since a huge April and May to open the season. Still, it’s been a career year for Polanco as he’s set career highs in an almost every offensive category already. At one point in April, his BABIP was an unsustainable .424, so you knew he’d be coming back to earth at some point.

Emmanuel Clase can bring the heat for the Texas Rangers.
Emmanuel Clase hit 101 mph on the radar gun.

Young Dominican hurler Emmanuel Clase can sure bring the heat, and he’s made a rapid rise through the Ranger system. Beginning the season at High-A, he couldn’t be touched, prompting a quick promotion to Double-A, where he enjoyed a solid ERA. Earlier this month, Texas brought him to the bigs, and he’s holding his own, hurling shutout ball in five of his seven appearances to date. Clase throws a triple digit heater and looks like a closer in waiting for the Rangers.

Rougned Odor had a miserable night for the Texas Rangers.
Rougned Odor struggled at bat and in the field.

Rougned Odor came into the game having recorded two multi-hit efforts over his last four — a veritable bonanza for him. Then, he went hitless (drawing one walk) and struck out twice more while committing a costly error. Odor has now whiffed at least once in 12 straight games, and while he’s performed better after his putrid start, he’s only batting .200 this month. His BA makes him a liability despite the nice power and modest speed. Texas tried to generate a rally in the eighth inning, but it came up short when Odor struck out on three pitches, missing about as poorly as a major leaguer can miss on a curve ball.

Max Kepler keeps bashing for the Minnesota Twins.
Max Kepler’s set a new MLB record with a no doubt homer.

Max Kepler made Texas pay for Odor’s error, smashing a two-run homer — his 33rd of the season, to set a new MLB mark for the most in a season by a European-born player. Kepler has been in a bit of slump this month, but with three hits, two runs and three ribbies in the last two, seems to be coming out of it. Although he’s been horrible on the basepaths this year, it’s been a nice breakout season for him.

Nolan Ryan finished his career with the Texas Rangers.
A statue of the great Nolan Ryan graces this ballpark.

Of course, no visit to this ballpark is complete without checking out the statute of Nolan Ryan, the player possibly more synonymous with Ranger baseball than any other (save perhaps Ivan Rodriguez). The Ryan Express holds Texas career records for lowest WHIP, lowest H/9 and lowest FIP despite spending only the final five years of his 27-year career in a Ranger uniform.

The Texas Rangers new stadium is being constructed.
Globe Life Field is now under construction.

As mentioned above, the Rangers will be moving to a new ballpark in 2020. Globe Life Field will feature synthetic grass, just the fourth current stadium without natural grass. Capacity will be just 40,000 and current season ticket owners are reportedly unhappy with the location and costs of the seats they’re being offered at the new park.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

How about another song from Azymuth, that classic Brazilian jazz-funk band from Rio? In 1981, the band released its fifth album, Telecommunication. One of the better tracks from this effort is What Price Samba (Quanto Vale Um Samba)?

Save $1 on the 2019 Fantasy Football Guide

Have you picked up the 2019 Fantasy Football Guide yet? Use promo code Rob19 when you buy it online and save $1. Details here.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite memory of this ballpark is.

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