by on 17 April, 2019
WEST PALM BEACH Willie Mays Jersey , Fla. (AP) — Texas declined its $4.5 million option on the catcher shortly before the 34-year-old traveled to Japan last November with a big league all-star team. He developed a friendship with the squad’s pitching coach, Houston’s Brent Strom. Less than a month later, the Astros agreed to a $5.75 million, one-year contract.“When I signed, he called me and he was saying, ‘I told you you were coming here,'” Chirinos said of Strom.During the Japan trip, Chirinos liked the way Strom worked to improve pitchers who weren’t even on his major league team.“It showed a lot of the kind of person he is,” Chirinos said. “He cared about the pitchers.”Meanwhile, Strom relayed information about Chirinos’ character to his bosses.“Just the personality and the presence, not necessarily the catching http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey ,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.Catchers Brian McCann and Evan Gattis had left the Astros as free agents. Chirinos impressed against Houston last year, hitting three of his 18 home runs against the Astros.“He’s got a big swing. He likes hitting in our ballpark,” Hinch said. “I hope he likes hitting against the opponent in our ballpark as much he liked hitting against us.”Chirinos was 5 for 15 in spring training with one home run entering Tuesday. He has been focused on developing relationships with Houston’s pitchers.“I think his openness to listening is very impressive,” said Hinch, a former major league catcher. “I know it sounds like it should be common, but for someone who’s been in the league it’s easy to feel like you know everything and he gives off no impression that he knows everything, and I can appreciate that.”Chirinos has altered the way he sets up behind the plate and presents his target.“We demand a lot of our catchers in this organization with our pitching staff,” said pitcher Collin McHugh, who first played with Chirinos on that Japan tour. “He’s been really willing and eager to come and learn, come and listen, and willing to get his feet wet.” ARLINGTON Barry Bonds Jersey , Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have an optimistic new manager, a converted middle infielder taking over for a retired star at third base and a rotation filled with starters who have missed significant time following surgery.First-time manager Chris Woodward is now in charge of a team coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time in a decade, with a lineup full of 20-something position players and a rotation bearing promise — if they can all stay healthy.“I told those guys it doesn’t matter what people say on the outside, that eternal belief is there, and they already have it,” Woodward said. “I guess I’m most optimistic because they have it, they have it already. … This group does believe in each other, they have a really strong bond with one another.”Woodward, a former utility infielder, was the third base coach the past three seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who went to the World Series the past two seasons.Texas used much of last season Madison Bumgarner Jersey , while out of contention in the loaded AL West, to focus on the development of its younger players. Shortstop Elvis Andrus, now 30 and going into his 11th season, is the only Rangers player remaining from their consecutive World Series teams in 2010 and 2011.The primary offseason additions included right-hander Lance Lynn ($30 million, three-year contract) and two-time All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera ($3.5 million, one year) to play third base after Adrian Beltre retired.Lefty Mike Minor, the only returner from last year’s rotation, will be the opening day starter. After starting for Atlanta from 2010-14, he missed two seasons after surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He returned as a full-time reliever in Kansas City in 2017 before Texas made him a starter again and he won 12 games last season.Lynn is 21-18 with a 4.04 ERA in 64 games over the past two seasons since missing 2016 following Tommy John surgery. That is what sidelined Edinson Volquez and Drew Smyly all of last year, and Shelby Miller until some last-season appearances in Arizona.The Rangers open the season at home March 28 against the Chicago Cubs.YOUNG SLUGGERSJoey Gallo has more homers than singles (88 to 82) in his big league career and Nomar Mazara, who turns 24 in April Juan Marichal Jersey , has already had three consecutive 20-homer seasons. Woodward said if the young outfielders become consistent contributors, it will have a ripple effect through the lineup.“If they’re doing things right, they’ll be on base a lot, they’ll be slugging a lot, the just present a lot of pressure on the opposing staffs,” Woodward said. “I’m really impressed by the way they’re going to about their business. … I expect kind of big things out of both of them.”Gallo, who is 25, has had consecutive 40-homer seasons despite hitting only .208 overall with 403 strikeouts the past two years. A big focus for Mazara, who hits a lot of grounders, has been to get more balls in the air.NEW FACESAlong with the rotation changes, the Rangers added veterans Shawn Kelley http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , Zach McAllister and Jason Hammel in the bullpen. Jeff Mathis, a veteran catcher who is a defensive specialist, got a two-year deal in Texas.ROOKIES TO WATCHHard-throwing right-hander Connor Sadzeck will likely start the season in the bullpen. The 6-foot-7 Sadzeck allowed only one earned run over 9 1-3 innings in 13 appearances last season in his big league debut. He had 53 strikeouts with only 17 walks in 42 1-3 innings over 35 minor league appearances last year. Yohander Mendez, a 24-year-old lefty, was expected to provide some starting depth, but will miss the first half of the season with a strained ligament in his elbow.FINAL SEASONWith a retractable-roof stadium being built across the street, this will be the 26th and final season for the Rangers in their current ballpark that opened in 1994. Kenny Rogers pitched a perfect game in the first year of the stadium, which has also hosted two World Series, the 1995 MLB All-Star game and the first regular-season interleague game in 1997.
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