What to watch for during Rangers' final series

September 25th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- 's potential last hurrah with the Rangers and a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month are among things to watch for during the last homestand of the season. Here's everything to keep an eye on heading into this final four-game series against the Astros at Globe Life Field.

One more for Choo?
Choo, 38, has been sidelined since Sept. 7 with a sprained right wrist, and he does not want to end the season on the injured list. His seven-year contract expires at the end of the season, and there is a good chance he won’t be back with the Rangers next year. His .229 batting average and .712 OPS are both career lows.

This is not how Choo wanted to go out, and the Rangers want him to play in at least one more game.

The question is if Choo wants to play one more game before what could come next. He has said previously that he wants to play next year, but that is up in the air.

“It always has to enter your mind,” manager Chris Woodward said. “As much as he may want to play, a team's got to give him the opportunity, to sign with somebody. You just don't know. We would know full well, this guy's gonna prepare better than anybody on our ball club. 38, 39, whatever his age would be. Yeah, I'm guessing that's definitely going to be on his mind for sure."

Gold Glove for Kiner-Falefa?
The Rangers are pushing third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa to try to win the American League Gold Glove Award.

Entering Thursday, Kiner-Falefa led all AL third basemen with plus-five Outs Above Average, according to Statcast. He was tied for the lead at third base with five Defensive Runs Saved, per FanGraphs.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Major League Baseball is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and the Rangers are participating despite not having fans in the stands.

DoppelRanger cutouts of Ivan Rodriguez, Michael Young, Adrián Beltré, Juan Gonzalez, Neftalí Feliz and Ruben Sierra will be prominent at Globe Life Field this weekend. The Rangers have also produced video highlights of current players that will be shown during the games.

Texas has six players from Latin America on its active roster. Rafael Montero, Ronald Guzmán, Anderson Tejeda and Leody Taveras are from the Dominican Republic, while Rougned Odor is from Venezuela. Jonathan Hernández was born in Memphis, Tenn., while his father was playing professional baseball, but he grew up in the Dominican.

Sherten Apostel is from Curacao, which is part of the Netherlands. Jesse Chavez and Jose Trevino are from the United States, but they have Hispanic heritage.

At the Rangers' alternate training site, there are Adolis García and Andy Ibáñez from Cuba, Yadiel Rivera from Puerto Rico and Yonny Hernandez from Venezuela. The injured list includes José Leclerc, Edinson Vólquez, Joely Rodríguez and Danny Santana from the Dominican and Elvis Andrus from Venezuela.

Postseason race
The Astros entered the series with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Angels and a three-game advantage over the Mariners for second place in the AL West. Until Houston clinches a postseason spot, these games mean something in the standings.

“Obviously, let’s keep these guys from making the playoffs,” Woodward said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s a good test for us. We’ve actually played decent against these guys all year. I know we’ve pitched good at times. Good way to end it.”

Final record
The Rangers entered the series with a 19-37 record. Their .339 winning percentage would be the worst in club history. Texas had a .351 winning percentage (54-100) in 1972, and a .352 winning percentage (57-105) in '73.

The Rangers have the second-worst record in the Major Leagues ahead of only the 18-39 Pirates.

Morgan heads for milestone
Chuck Morgan has been the Rangers' public-address announcer since 1983 -- except for the 2002 season in Kansas City -- and he will work his 3,000th consecutive home game on Saturday. The Rangers and the City of Arlington plan to pay tribute to Morgan once the game becomes official.

Morgan’s streak does not include 25 Rangers postseason games, the 1995 All-Star Game and a number of exhibition and college games that he called in the 26-year baseball life of Globe Life Park.

Roster moves
The Rangers are still making roster moves. Right-hander Nick Goody was designated for assignment on Thursday after going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 games. Opponents hit .304 off him with a .652 slugging percentage.

To replace Goody on the roster, Texas recalled infielder Andrew Romine, a nine-year Major League veteran, from its alternate training site.