The Rangers landed seven hopes by the trade deadline in deals with the Phillies and Yankees, although it cost Texas their best player (Joey Gallo), their best starting pitcher (Kyle Gibson), a closer (Ian Kennedy) and a pitcher hopeful (Hans Crouse).
Four perspectives have arrived in the Gallo affair with the Yankees. The rest came from the Phillies, including the headliner of the deadline total.
Howard and his right-handed colleagues Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner were acquired about an hour before the July 30 deadline for Gibson, Kennedy and Crouse.
The Rangers plan to let the 6-3, 210-pound Howard work as a starter the rest of the season after not having a defined role with the Phillies. The goal is to increase his pitching count to 80 after he has never broken 68 in Philadelphia this season.
Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said the Rangers likely wouldn’t have been able to acquire Howard without his struggles in Philadelphia. He had accumulated a 5.72 ERA in 28.1 innings.
The Rangers included Crouse, their 2017 second round, to make sure they could land Howard.
They see the same things that made Howard one of baseball’s best prospects. His fastball sits at 94 mph, but Cal Poly’s 2017 second round has more when he needs it. It also launches a slider, curve, and shift that are above average to plus.
Howard’s drop in speed, however, is a legitimate concern. The Rangers don’t expect to let him go beyond 80 shots the rest of the season, but want to see him cross the three- and four-innings threshold that has held him back with the Phillies.
The Rangers also don’t want to push Howard too much. They want to make sure he stays healthy – he has had shoulder problems in the past – and can start strong in spring training.
While out of action and in the rebuilding phase, the Rangers have a luxury the Phillies don’t.
GATHERING OF THE RANGERS
– Center fielder Evan Carter, the No.8 prospect for the Rangers, was in Arizona to continue recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back. The goal is for the second round of 2020 to return to Low-A Down East in early September.
– Two orthopedists recommended rest and rehabilitation as treatment for sprained elbow ligament of right-hander Tekoah Roby rather than Tommy John’s surgery. Roby, a third-round pick in 2020, was 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA at Down East in the first six starts of his professional career.
Phillies boost rotation in deal for Rangers’ Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy
The Phillies bolstered their pitching team in a move that saw the Rangers win over Rangers’ best prospect, Spencer Howard.