'Calm and collected' Alexy throws debut gem

August 31st, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Making your Major League debut is nerve-racking for anybody. Making your Major League debut on a spot start following a slew of additions to the COVID-related injured list is totally different.

But three different Rangers pitchers have done so in the last week, most recently on Monday night. Texas’ No. 22-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline was called on to make his big league debut in the club’s series opener against the Rockies, when he tossed five scoreless innings in the 4-3 win at Globe Life Field.

“My confidence was through the roof yesterday,” Alexy said on making his debut. “But then once I got into the pregame bullpen, it was like, ‘Alright here we go. Time to actually do it.’ My emotions have been all over. I was very flustered, but I think once I got through the first inning, it was pretty calm and collected.”

Alexy added that it’s been an unbelievably shocking few days since he found out he was getting called up on Saturday.

Alexy was acquired in a 2017 Trade Deadline deal with the Dodgers along with Willie Calhoun and Brendon Davis that sent Yu Darvish to Los Angeles. Between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, Alexy posted a 1.66 ERA over 16 games (10 starts) this season before the callup.

Alexy joined fellow pitching prospects Jake Latz and Glenn Otto as rookie pitchers to make their debut in this last week. Alexy’s masterful outing saw only one hit and three walks from the opposing Rockies as he leaned mostly on four-seamers, which maxed out at 95.5 mph.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said he was pleased with Alexy’s composure and his ability to throw his breaking ball in all counts. Rockies manager Bud Black agreed, adding that the Colorado hitters may have helped Alexy out a bit by swinging at pitches outside of the zone to elicit weak contact.

“He has a tendency to leave the fastball up,” Woodward explained. “Once the fastball is high like that, there's a little bit of concern. But that's where I got impressed because two balls out of hand up in the zone and he throws a changeup to make [the count] 2-1. That's something that you see veteran guys have a hard time with sometimes.

“When they don't have command of a pitch, they try to just jam that pitch over and over in there. He had the wherewithal to say ‘Okay, I trust my changeup, I trust my slider. I'm going to use that to maybe get back in the count, then go back to my fastball.’”

According to STATS, Inc., the Rangers are the first Major League team since 1900 to have two pitchers work at least five shutout innings and allow two or less hits in their debuts in the same season. Otto -- who pitched five scoreless on two hits against the Astros on Friday -- and Alexy did it within a three-game span.

The only difference is that Alexy had the offense and bullpen on his side as he held on for his first Major League win. Alexy is also just the second Ranger to work five innings with one or fewer hits in his first big league appearance, joining Roger Pavlik in May 1992.

The long ball accounted for all four runs the Rangers offense scored in the win. DJ Peters, Leody Taveras and Nick Solak all launched home runs to propel Texas to a victory behind Alexy.

The debuts of all three pitchers this last week -- Latz, Otto and Alexy -- is another point of emphasis for the success of the organization from top to bottom. For all three to come up in a hectic COVID situation and stay calm and composed illustrates the pure depth and maturity of the club’s farm system.

“It's a cool success story obviously for the organization,” Woodward said. “We're going to need that obviously as we move forward into a contending team. When these guys get called up, we have to rely on them. It's huge for that to kind of bring these guys up and feel like they belong. All three guys I’ve honestly been really impressed with. For three in a row, within a week, to kind of have the success they've had, it's pretty remarkable.”