Langford (hamstring strain) placed on IL, will miss 3-4 weeks

May 6th, 2024

KANSAS CITY – The Rangers’ injury bug has made its way to Texas’ No. 1 prospect.

, who exited Saturday’s win in the fifth inning after pulling up short of first base, was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain following Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Royals and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Infielder Jonathan Ornelas was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday when Langford landed on the injured list.

Langford, who has spent all of his time defensively in left field, was batting .224 with one homer (an inside-the-parker) and 11 RBIs. The 22-year-old phenom made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster after hitting six homers and posting a Cactus League-best 1.388 OPS in Spring Training.

Langford now joins the Rangers’ starting third baseman (Josh Jung) and five starting pitchers (Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Cody Bradford and Tyler Mahle) on the injured list.

The No. 4 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft ascended the Rangers’ farm system rapidly in 2023, his only season in the Minor Leagues. He spent a majority of the time in High-A, where he batted .333 with five homers and 15 RBIs for High-A Hickory. Langford hit even better with Double-A Frisco, smacking four homers and batting .405 in 12 games with the RoughRiders.

He had a slow start offensively in the Majors by his standards, but Bochy wasn’t concerned for Langford.

“I’ll say this, the guy has hit some hard-hit balls with no luck,” Bochy said. “[Saturday] that he hit up the middle, … when you hit it over 100 miles an hour you’d like to have a little more luck than he has.”

Langford’s expected batting average (.246) and expected slugging (.388) are both better than his actual numbers (.224 average and .293 slugging). Langford had a scheduled off-day on Friday, and was 0-for-3 before his exit on Saturday night. Travis Jankowski, who was not in the lineup Sunday, replaced Langford in left on Saturday and is now expected to play more at the position alongside Evan Carter, who started in left in the finale.

It wasn’t the outcome the Rangers wanted, and for a team riddled with injuries, Texas’ depth will be tested. But they’re ready for it.

“No team goes through a healthy season,” Jankowski said Saturday night. “ … We are going to be the next man up. We did it last year, and we’re going to do it this year.”