Rangers return to Globe Life Field for final spring tuneups before Thursday’s opener

The balls, bats, uniforms and all of the Texas Rangers’ equipment were loaded into the trucks immediately after Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres in Surprise, Ariz., on Saturday.

By Monday, all will be delivered to Globe Life Field where the uniforms will be awaiting the Rangers for their final two spring training tune ups against the Kansas City Royals.

Yes, baseball is back in Texas.

With a few roster decisions still to be made before Opening Day on Thursday, the Rangers will play their final two exhibition games against the Royals in Arlington (Monday at 7:05 p.m.; Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.).

Opening day

Jacob deGrom will get the start on Opening Day against the Phillies on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. Arriving to camp with tightness in his side, he’s shown no effects of the ailment in his final spring training starts. He struck out six and allowed just two hits in 3.2 innings against the Padres on Saturday.

Manager Bruce Bochy is hopeful that deGrom can throw 75 pitches and possibly five innings in the opener against the Phillies.

“He’s excited to go Opening Day,” Bochy said. “Early, we had to hold him back a little bit. We think he’s good to go. We have the day off after Opening Day, so we can cover him. We are not looking for him to go real deep in the game.”

It’s the exact role the Rangers envisioned for deGrom when they signed him to the five-year $185 million contract in the offseason.

Rest of the rotation

Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Phillies, while Martin Perez will pitch Sunday against Philadelphia.

Perez, the ace of the Rangers’ 2022 team, could’ve been an Opening Day choice.

However, Bochy said the fact that he’s “a little more stretched out” means that Perez could throw 90 pitches on Sunday.

Jon Gray will open the series against Baltimore on Monday, followed by Andrew Heaney on Tuesday.

Otto shut down

Pitcher Glenn Otto won’t be on the roster on Opening Day.

Otto has been shut down for at least three weeks as he recovers from tightness in his right lat. He is expected to be re-examined on Monday before a rehab program begins.

He’s appeared in four games, throwing 8.1 innings. He’s allowed 11 runs, walked nine and struck out 11.

Jake Odorizzi has yet to throw a pitch in a competitive game this spring. Acquired in a trade with Atlanta, Odorizzi will start the seaosn on the injured list.

Spring training numbers

Shortstop Corey Seager leads the Rangers in hitting (.468, 22 for 47), followed by newcomer Robbie Grossman (.405, 17 for 42). Grossman was a late addition to the roster and has played well. Expect to see him in the starting lineup on Thursday.

Seager also leads the team with four home runs this spring; third baseman Ezequiel Duran leads the team with 15 RBIs and 38 total bases.

BSSW update

Although its parent company has filed for bankruptcy, Bally Sports Southwest and the Rangers issued a press release to confirm it fully intends to broadcast Rangers games this season.

BSSW plans to broadcast 155 of the Rangers’ 162 games. The other seven are national broadcasts.

Diamond Sports Group owns BSSW. The company filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago. If BSSW fails to make their broadcast rights payments, the Rangers can terminate their contract. Major League Baseball has stated that it will have a backup plan to broadcast the games if that happens.

National games

The seven games not scheduled on BSSW: April 1 vs. Philadelphia (FOX), April 2 vs. Philadelphia (ESPN), April 7 vs. Chicago (Apple TV+), April 16 at Houston (ESPN), July 9 at Washington (Peacock), Aug. 26 at Minnesota (FOX), Sept. 2 vs. Minnesota (FOX).