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Preview #5: 7/28, Diamondbacks @ Rangers

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Our first look at Merrill Kelly, as the D-backs’ road-trip moves East, and our first look at a new venue.

Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS RANGERS
Ketel Marte - 2B Shin-Soo Choo - LF
Kole Calhoun - RF Danny Santana - CF
Starling Marte - CF Rougned Odor - 2B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Joey Gallo - RF
Christian Walker - 1B Todd Frazier - 1B
David Peralta - LF Willie Calhoun - DH
Jake Lamb - DH Elvis Andrus - SS
Stephen Vogt - C Robinson Chirinos - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 3B
Merrill Kelly - RHP Kyle Gibson - RHP

This series will be our first change to see what Globe Life Field looks and plays like. It’s all a bit confusing, because the Rangers’ old home - which used to be called The Ballpark in Arlington, is now known as Globe Life Park. That was wherer the Dallas Renegades of the short-lived XFL played, and is also used for soccer by FC Dallas’s reserve team, North Texas SC of USL League One. Next year Major League Rugby’s (yes, that’s a thing) Dallas Jackals are scheduled to begin play at the old stadium. The new park is right in the same vicinity, but has a capacity of about eight thousand fewer, at just over 40,000. It cost $1.1 billion, so that’s probably what a new D-backs park would cost [Globe Life has a retractable roof too]

Here’s an interesting nugget, for which I have to thank Wikipedia. The dimensions of the park are little easter-eggs, that pay tribute to baseball, and in particular, Texas Rangers history, as follows:

  • Left field line - 329 - Adrián Beltré - Retired #29
  • Left field just inside line - 334 - Nolan Ryan - Retired #34
  • Left field power alley - 372 - 1972 Rangers - First season in Arlington
  • Deepest distance (to left and right of centerfield) - 410 - Michael Young - Retired #10
  • Center field (straightaway) - 407 - Iván Rodríguez - Retired #7
  • Right field power alley - 374 - 1974 Rangers - First winning season in Arlington
  • Right field line - 326 - Johnny Oates - Retired #26
  • Home plate to backstop - 42 - Jackie Robinson - Number 42 retired throughout MLB

Pre-game notes from Torey Lovullo

  • No testing Updates, No injury updates, everyone is healthy
  • They reminded all the players upon arrival at the stadium yesterday and again this morning of all the protocols and precautions. The players are adhering to the protocols and so far they’ve had zero positives since the season started. They aren’t taking anything for granted.
  • Despite results in San Diego, focus is on today. “It doesn’t really change whether there are 162 games or there are 60 of them, our focus is today”
  • However he also said he is concerned how the team was “getting pushed around the ring”
  • Merrill Kelly was challenged last year in Milwaukee mid-season with his rotation spot on the line to adjust his approach and attack. Kelly accepted the challenge and embraced it and pitched at an “elite, all-star caliber level” from there on.
  • He is doing some lineup tinkering trying to help score some runs. He is doing things with a greater sense of urgency than he normally would, whether it’s lineup construction, pinch hit strategy, etc.
  • Playing surface at the new Rangers ballpark is the exact same Shaw Turf at Chase field.