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Hernández showcases 'elite stuff' in sim game

Andrus shares impressions of Globe Life Field as Rangers open camp
@Sullivan_Ranger
July 3, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Manager Chris Woodward got to see a few of his pitchers throw simulated games on Friday during the Rangers' first Summer Camp workout at Globe Life Field. Jonathan Hernández was the first pitcher to impress the manager. The right-hander faced four hitters and struck out all of them,

ARLINGTON -- Manager Chris Woodward got to see a few of his pitchers throw simulated games on Friday during the Rangers' first Summer Camp workout at Globe Life Field.

Jonathan Hernández was the first pitcher to impress the manager. The right-hander faced four hitters and struck out all of them, allowing only one foul ball during the at-bats.

“All I can say is he was absolutely filthy,” Woodward said. “His command was probably the most impressive. He’s got elite stuff as we know. Upper 90s, ton of movement on his fastball, really good slider. Changeup was really good. But his command, he was hitting his spots. Almost unfair at times. Executed a lot of really good pitches.”

Hernández, who had a 4.32 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in nine games (two starts) for Texas last season, is trying to prove he can fill a role as a multi-inning middle reliever and spot starter. He pitched in five games during Spring Training and allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks with 13 strikeouts in nine innings.

Woodward was eager to see Hernández because the righty was in New York during the shutdown and had limited throwing opportunities. He had not thrown batting practice before arriving in Texas earlier this week.

“But what we saw today was what we saw in Spring Training,” Woodward said. “He's got elite stuff, and he was executing his pitches on the corners. It was very, very encouraging."

Andrus shares thoughts on Globe Life Field
Globe Life Field is not expected to be as hitter-friendly as the Rangers' old ballpark across the street, but Elvis Andrus, who has been working out here during the shutdown, has had a favorable impression so far.

“For me, it plays well,” Andrus said. “I’m not Joey [Gallo]. I don’t rely on hitting 40-50 home runs a year. I love the gaps. They’re huge. I see a lot of triples and extra bases for me. That’s for me, that’s my game. I think the ballpark is going to play out well for pitchers.”

All hitters produced a combined .462 slugging percentage at Globe Life Park last season, the third highest for any ballpark in the Major Leagues. Coors Field had the highest with a .526 combined slugging percentage, and Camden Yards was next at .480, according to STATS, Inc.

“I still believe you’re going to see a ton of homers, but not as easy as it was in the old ballpark,” Andrus said. “I think it’s going to make us a better hitting team. Everybody’s going to have to think about hitting line drives instead of trying to launch balls in the air.”

Rangers beat
• Left-hander Mike Minor was scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Friday, but that was put on hold until the Rangers get his intake COVID-19 testing results back. General manager Jon Daniels said the team was waiting on the results for several other players as well.

• Right-hander José Leclerc had some early trouble with his fastball during his simulated game and gave up a home run to Rougned Odor. But he made a mechanical adjustment and his command improved late in the session.

• Right-hander Luke Farrell has been working on his curveball, and he used it in full-count situations to strike out both Willie Calhoun and Danny Santana in his simulated game.

• Right-hander Cody Allen threw a simulated game and continues to show he has moved past the sore-arm issues he had in Spring Training. Woodward said Allen showed some improved life on his fastball.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.