Isiah Kiner-Falefa was only five games into

  • Texas Rangers in early April. A few days later Dwayne Haskins Jersey , Ronald Guzman got promoted and also made his big-league debut.

     

    When Texas reached the midpoint of the regular season this week, the 23-year-old rookies were among eight position players on the roster who are 25 or younger.

    While the Rangers were on a 70-win pace after a loss in the 81st of their 162 games, they’ve had a recent uptick. They have won nine of their last 11 games while claiming four consecutive series in a stretch when veteran stalwarts Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus were finally back in the lineup together.

    In the 82nd game Wednesday night, when the Rangers (36-46) started the second half of their schedule before an off day Thursday, lefty Mike Minor took a perfect game into the seventh of a 5-2 victory over San Diego. Keone Kela, the hard-throwing 25-year-old closer, got his 20th save – the most in the majors without a blown chance and a club record to start a season.

    ”When you take all the individual parts of the first half and you look and evaluate players of where they’re trending, they’re trending in the right direction athletically as well as mentally of how they play the baseball game,” fourth-year manager Jeff Banister said. ”We’ve gained some knowledge, and some guys have proven to themselves that they can play at this level and where they’re at and what they need to work on.”

    General manager Jon Daniels has said publicly several times that the team’s priority this season is the development of its young players.

    Young sluggers Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo were already regulars in the lineup before this season David Long Jersey , along with second baseman Rougned Odor. Speedy center fielder Delino DeShields has been a constant since returning from a broken bone in his left hand, an injury that occurred the first weekend of the season.

    ”Our coaches, they’ve put that development hat on,” Banister said. ”You watch them every day on the field, different players working on different things that we feel like they’re going to help these players out for the longer term, for the bigger picture.”

    Kiner-Falefa was called up when Odor, the 23-year-old already in his fourth season with Texas, went on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Andrus, the shortstop in his 10th season at age 29, suffered a broken elbow when hit by a pitch just a couple of days later. Beltre had more hamstring issues.

    ”Everything happened so quick http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/bobby-evans-jersey ,” said Kiner-Falefa, who has two starts at catcher after previous starts at second base, third base and shortstop. ”I’m trying to soak it all in. … It’s been a cool experience. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from everyone here, and all the veterans.”

    Guzman has 51 starts at first base, though he is on the seven-day concussion disabled list. The Rangers were batting when Guzman slammed his head into a knee on an attempted pickoff Monday.

    Profar was 19 when he homered in his first big league at-bat in 2012, but he missed all of the 2014 and 2015 seasons because of right shoulder issues. He split each of the last two seasons between the Rangers and Triple-A Round Rock, but has started at all four infield positions this year in his most consistent action in the majors.

    ”I’ve got a really good chance to experience the big leagues, a lot of things that you want to work to be consistent on,” Profar said. ”We have very good young players here, we’re all learning. It’s going to be good for us going down the road.”

    MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday but won’t quite be ready to go when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins with a matinee at Miller Park.

    Cain has been sidelined since June 24 with a strained left groin and had been making progress in his rehab but isn’t 100 percent yet and will need a little more time Greg Gaines Jersey , manager Craig Cousnell said.

    “He had a good day on the field, but there’s enough caution there that we have to get over the last hurdle,” Counsell said. “We’re not to 100 percent yet. We’re definitely going in a good direction.”

    Christian Yelich has been out since the first inning of Sunday’s game thanks to a stiff back but he took batting practice for a third straight day Tuesday and came into the game as a ninth-inning defensive sub, leaving him on the verge of returning to the lineup — perhaps as early as Wednesday.

    “He’s feeling pretty good,” Counsell said. “I’m very optimistic.”

    With both Cain and Yelich out, and Jesus Aguilar punishing opposing pitchers while playing first base, Eric Thames has become a regular in Milwaukee’s outfield. Since returning from a 40-day stint on the disabled list June 12, Thames has made five starts at first and 10 in the outfield. He’s appeared in 18 games overall since returning, batting .226 with four home runs and 11 RBIs during that stretch but has been red-hot over the last week with three home runs over his last six games.

    “I’m just trying to have quality at-bats and trying not to hit 30 home runs in the first week to try and catch back up with everybody else,” said Thames Christian Wilkins Jersey , who’s third on the team with 12 home runs this season. “I’m just trying to have good at-bats, get on base, take my walks, trying not to swing at everything that comes over the plate like I did in Cincinnati. I’m just trying to take a quality at-bat and help the team win.”

    Thames’ two-run homer was the difference in Milwaukee’s victory Tuesday and gave the Brewers at least one home run in each of their last nine games.

    Jose Berrios will try to stop that streak Wednesday as he leads the Twins in their efforts to avoid a sweep. The right-hander served up two home runs his last time out as he was dinged for six runs on six hits and four walks over just 4 1/3 innings by the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

    “I don’t know if it’s the hottest game I’ve thrown, but coming from 80 degrees to almost 100, I felt it out there,” Berrios said through an interpreter. “I wanted to keep competing for my team. … I kind of felt like I lost stamina out there because it was so hot. It just was what it was.

    “I tried to execute my pitches. I struck out (two). I kept trying to battle. It wasn’t my day today.”

    It was Berrios’ worst outing of the season and snapped what had been an impressive stretch for the young right-hander. He’d gone 5-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his eight previous starts, striking out 69 with just 11 walks in 57 innings of work.

    “Jose was just a little off,” manager Paul Molitor said. “Command of fastball, a couple breaking balls that he got hurt on. … Glanced up there now and then. (His velocity) was maybe down a mile or two from what you would expect.”

    Wednesday will mark his first career appearance against the Brewers http://www.miamidolphinsteamonline.com/michael-deiter-jersey , who counter with right-hander Chase Anderson.

    Anderson allowed just a run over six innings in his last outing, Friday at Cincinnati, and is 3-3 with a 4.40 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list on May 20.

    He’s faced Minnesota just once in his career and took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits over five innings back on April 18, 2016.