The Texas Rangers have informed pitchers Spencer Howard and Brock Burke and catcher Jonah Heim that they will make the Opening Day roster, per multiple local media folks on the Tweetbox.
Howard will be in the rotation, I would assume in the #5 spot. Taylor Hearn, per the same reports, will be starting the Rangers’ home opener against Colorado on April 11. That will be the Rangers’ fourth game of the season, so it stands to reason Howard will be the fifth starter. With Jon Gray starting Opening Day, my guess is that Martin Perez will pitch in the second game and Dane Dunning in the third game, since managers usually want to break up lefties in the rotation.
Burke will be in the bullpen, it appears. He’s a nice comeback story, after missing all of 2020 due to shoulder surgery, and then having an awful beginning to 2021 at AAA Round Rock. I expected him to be dropped from the 40 man roster at some point in the first half of 2021, but he soldiered on and had a solid second half of the year, and has earned really good reviews this spring.
Heim making the team would seem to be a given in light of the trade of Jose Trevino, which occurred...well, just a few minutes ago. He will split time behind the plate with Mitch Garver, who I am guessing will get the majority of starts.
Most of the roster appears to be set at this point. The final two bench spots seem to be up in the air, although Charlie Culberson and Eli White appear to be close to locking down those spots. The Rangers will start the year with a ten man bullpen, and Burke will have one of those jobs. Joe Barlow, John King, Brett Martin, Garrett Richards, Spencer Patton, Albert Abreu, and Dennis Santana all seem likely to make the Opening Day roster, which would leave two spots remaining.