SURPRISE, Ariz. – The Rangers finalized their starting rotation on Sunday by announcing that Nick Martinez had won the final spot.
Martinez joins opening day starter Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler and Derek Holland. Manager Jeff Banister confirmed his earlier-stated plan to start Holland in the season’s fifth game, the home opener in Arlington. Detwiler, who is scheduled to pitch Monday is on track to start the fourth game of the season at Oakland. Martinez and Lewis, who both pitched on Thursday, will pitches games Nos. 2-3 in some order, though that has yet to be announced.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have acquired left-hander Sam Freemanfrom the Cardinals for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
The Rangers signed left-hander Joe Biemel earlier this month with the idea of carrying him out of their bullpen this season, but he was given his release this week after a rough spring. They didn’t wait long to replace him.
Freeman owns a 3.33 ERA with a 61/34 K/BB ratio over 70 1/3 innings in the majors spread out over the past three seasons. It’s a very small sample, but the 27-year-old hasn’t fit the profile of a specialist in that time, as left-handed batters own a .704 OPS against him while right-handed batters have a .520 OPS.
Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes has reportedly been given an ultimatum, and he may decide to not return to the Longhorns for an 18th season.
According to 247Sports, Barnes is not expected to remain at Texas after his team snuck into the NCAA Tournament and was bounced in the first round. One source reportedly told 247Sports that you can “bet the house and double down” that Barnes is out.
On Thursday, a report indicated that the university has told Barnes he needs to make changes to his staff or it will cost him his job. Shuffling his coaching staff likely would buy the veteran coach another season, but he may be unwilling to do that.
Barnes is under contract through 2019 at roughly $2.5 million per season, but Texas can buy him out for $1.5 million after April. While the Longhorns have not reached a Sweet Sixteen since 2008, Barnes has taken the team to the NCAA Tournament 16 out of 17 seasons and is 402-180 in his career at Texas.
Barnes, 60, should be able to find another head coaching job. Perhaps he does not feel it is worth blowing up his staff just to buy himself another year.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels revealed that veteran outfielder Ryan Ludwick will not make the Opening Day roster, saying:
All-world guy. I hope he catches a big league job with another team. I think he can help somebody. As we look at it today, we thought other options in camp fit the roster better.
Ludwick signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers in early February and it would have paid $1.75 million if he made the team at age 36.
Ludwick was an All-Star in 2008 and had a big season for the Reds as recently as 2012, but he’s failed to crack a .700 OPS in each of the past two seasons and struggled in camp. If he wants to continue playing he may have to go prove he’s still got something left in the tank at Triple-A.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangershave namedYovani Gallardo as their Opening Day starter for April 6 against the Athletics. This will be his sixth straight Opening Day start and his first as a member of the Rangers.
Gallardo, who was acquired from the Brewers over the winter, posted a 3.51 ERA and 146/54 K/BB ratio in 192 1/3 innings across 32 starts with Milwaukee last season. He’s the next best option for the Rangers after their ace Yu Darvishunderwent season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this month.Derek Holland is currently lined up to start the home opener.
By the way, do you remember who the Rangers’ Opening Day starter was last year? I had to look it up to refresh my memory. It was Tanner Scheppers. That didn’t go so well.