Rangers hold special ties to Negro Leagues

Lyles, Minor flipped in rotation to give latter extra rest

August 16th, 2020

Rangers manager Chris Woodward showed up to his Sunday morning media Zoom call with the media on the day that Major League Baseball is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues.

The Rangers have a strong connection to the Negro Leagues. Country music legend Charley Pride pitched for the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League, is a minority partner in the Rangers' ownership group and makes an annual trip to Spring Training to work out with the club.

“It means a lot,” Woodward said. “He has sat in my office a few times in Spring Training and told me a bunch of stories about his experiences. It’s amazing how much he remembers in detail about some of the at-bats and some of the things he had to get guys out with. It is pretty remarkable hearing his stories.

“I’ve talked to Maury Wills and a bunch of other guys who played with Jackie Robinson and guys who came from the Negro Leagues. I am fascinated by it. We all should be because it is a big part of our history of our country and this game. It is a huge part of the history of baseball.”

Ranger flip Lyles, Minor in rotation
Texas is giving extra rest and are flipping him with in its rotation. Lyles is now scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Padres at Globe Life Field.

That allows Lyles to go on his normal four days' rest after pitching against the Mariners on Wednesday. Minor will start on Tuesday, giving him six days' rest since his last start against the Mariners on Aug. 11.

“For Mike, it is important. We want to make sure he is healthy,” Woodward said. “We need him to be fully healthy as we go forward this season.”

The Rangers have been concerned about Minor’s durability and stamina. He was 0-3 with a 6.89 ERA in his first three starts before throwing four scoreless against Seattle. The Rangers limited him to 76 pitches in that start, and Woodward said that will be increased to possibly 85-100 pitches against the Padres

“He feels as close to normal as we expect, so that’s a great sign,” Woodward said. “He felt good coming out of the four innings he threw. We are obviously going to keep a close eye on him to make sure we like what we see and he feels good in every inning. If he does, I will almost treat it as like a normal start.”

Rangers beat
• Third baseman was not in the starting lineup for Sunday's 10-6 loss to Colorado after going 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the first two games against the Rockies. Woodward said it was a planned day off for the 25-year-old so that could stay in the lineup at first with switching to third, though Kiner-Falefa did make a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth, walking in a run.

• Shortstop is the only Rangers player to start every game of 2020. Woodward said he would like to get Andrus a day off during the two-game series against the Padres on Monday and Tuesday in Arlington.