The Texas Rangers have a full 40-man roster at this point. Twenty-six of them will be in Arlington for opening day to watch Jacob deGrom start.
Well, maybe not all 26. The Rangers have some decisions to make on a few people. One name that comes is non-roster invitee Ian Kennedy.
The 38-year-old Kennedy did not have his best season in 2022 for the Diamondbacks. This spring however, he has a 2.25 ERA, a 0.875 WHIP and is striking out a batter per inning pitched.
He is making the decision difficult for the Rangers on whether to keep him or release him.
“He’s experienced and he’s gotten better as spring has gone on, which is usually the case with those guys” Rangers skipper said of Kennedy. “He knows what he is doing out there.”
Kennedy is a former closer who even filled that role for Texas in 2021 for a while. I still don’t know if he makes the team or not. There is a chance that Glenn Otto and Jake Odorizzi both start the season on the 60 day injured list. That would leave an opening for someone like Kennedy.
Now Kennedy is not the only non-roster-invitee to impress the brass at camp. Even though his numbers offensively do not look great (.171/.227/.171/.398) Travis Jankowski has a chance to make this team.
With Brad Miller, Josh Smith, Ezequiel Duran and others who can play the outfield, it just depends on what the Rangers want to do on if Jankowski makes the team or not.
Personally, I believe they have enough depth, but I do understand that they know more about what the team needs than I do.
The Texas Rangers have two more exhibition games to decide their fates.
The 2023 Texas Rangers are coming together to look much improved from the 2022 version of the team. Jacob deGrom, Nathan Evoldi and Martin Perez round out a much improved rotation.
I also believe the bullpen is improved over last season. Guys like Cole Ragans and Taylor Hearn can make a big impact coming out of the pen in either long relief or getting three outs.
Jonathan Hernandez, Jose LeClerc, Brock Burke and others can really lock down the end of games when they are on. Should be a solid bullpen on paper in 2023.
My thoughts is that both Kenned and Jankowski will make the club. The Texas Rangers have their final warm up game Tuesday night before it starts for real Thursday. We should know very soon what the final 40 man and 26 man rosters look like!