- I continue to be mystified by Kolby Allard suddenly throwing 92-94 mph.
- Allard had an average fastball velocity of 89.4 mph in his brief stint in the majors in 2018. The low velocity was why he generally wasn’t that heralded as a prospect anymore. It’s why he was available for two months of a good, but not great, relief pitcher at the trade deadline.
- And yes, reports were Allard’s velocity had moved up in the minors this year before the trade. But still...giving up a decent prospect for a non-impact rental player only to see the prospect take a step forward post-trade and exceed expectations? That’s something that usually happens when Texas is dealing the prospect, not acquiring the prospect.
- Allard went 6.1 IP tonight, striking out 8, walking no one, and giving up 6 hits. That’s a hell of an outing for anyone, much less a 22 year old making his fifth career major league start.
- I was dismissive of Rafael Montero, who the Rangers signed to a minor league deal as he rehabbed from March, 2018, Tommy John surgery, but with 1.2 scoreless innings this evening with 4 Ks, he’s lowered his ERA on the year to 1.08. He was a top-100 guy briefly, five years ago, but never had success with the Mets even before the torn UCL. He’s 28 and out of options, but he also has three years of team control remaining, and if he continues to excel, one has to figure the Rangers will hang onto him into spring training.
- Jose Leclerc struck out 2 in a scoreless ninth. It’s not been a great season for him results-wise, but he’s still really good.
- Willie Calhoun and Nick Solak each had two hits today, with Willie having a home run, and so from a position player development and progress standpoint, tonight was good. Willie has shown enough to me this season that I think anyone still complaining about the Yu Darvish trade should be scorned and scoffed at. His defensive limitations limit his upside, but the bat looks good enough that he should be a quality contributor for a good team for a number of years. And that’s what you’d hope you would get from Solak, though of course, it’s way too early to say much about him just yet.
- Danny Santana also had a home run, continuing his mystifying and intriguing 2019 campaign.
- Texas looks to go for the series split tomorrow, with Brock Burke looking to follow up on his terrific major league debut earlier this week. A solid weekend from Allard and Burke would make me all tingly.
Rangers 4, ChiSox 0