Today is 15 Feb 2023, and today is the day that pitchers & catchers reported in Surprise for the 2023 Texas Rangers season. It’s not quite as exciting as opening day, but still a very important day – the first “official” day of Spring Training. As such, the new roster is out with everyone’s uniform numbers, which means I spent a little time and updated all the roster pages on my site with the new year’s spring info. As is my custom, I’m making a post here to mark this as well as a new notes and comments I noticed while editing all the pages here.
Here’s a link to all the data, but before that, a summary of what I learned doing the 2023 start of Spring Training data.
Here’s some numbers for the major acquisitions during the offseason. not all of them are on field players…
- 15 – Bruce Bochy
- 17 – Nathan Eovaldi
- 21 – Ian Kennedy
- 23 – Jake Odorizzi
- 31 – Mike Maddux (it’s his old number)
- 48 – Jacob DeGrom
There are a lot of guys who would qualify as “new guys”, but they’re of the minor league/spring training invite types. I’m not adding all of those, as there’s quite a lot of them. Also of note, Kumar Rocker will be in camp wearing #80.
Usually there’s a player who has been here for a bit who moves their number around, and this spring is no different here, although this year it seems there’s a lot more guys who are holding on to their numbers and doing less moving.
- Bubba Thompson goes from 65 to 8
- Ezequiel Duran goes from 70 to 20
- Mike Maddux reclaims his old 31, which forces…
- Spencer Howard moves from 31 to 36
Some years ago when Zack Minasian was our clubhouse guy, I remember hearing him say in an interview somewhere that when a popular or long standing player leaves the team for whatever reason (FA signing, trade, retire) they generally did not give out that number for at least one full season afterwards (unless there’s some roster squeeze in the spring). That continues into 2023 with the following numbers not being assigned this spring when they were last season (well, mostly last season):
- 1 – Elvis Andrus
- 4 – Willie Calhoun
- 19 – Dennis Santana
- 40 – Greg Holland & Steele Walker
- 43 – Garrett Richards
- 45 – Matt Moore
- 57 – Nick Snyder
- 61 – Spencer Patton
- 63 – Jesus Tinoco
- 65 – Bubba Thompson
A few amusing observations from the not assigned group…
- For the first time since 1989, nobody starts the season wearing #4. However, since it’s a primo number, I suspect someone will get it, either from being signed, or moving there in the final roster shuffle before the season starts for real.
- For the third year since he was gone, Elvis Andrus’ #1 is still vacant. He’s technically still a free agent right now, but there’s no spot for him here. Not advocating for him to return, but they’re still holding his number.
- #45 is vacant, last held by Matt Moore, who is still a free agent. He could slot there quite nicely – he must be wanting an excessive amount of cash that NOBODY has picked him up yet. Nevermind. The Angels picked up Matt Moore on 16 Feb on a 1 year deal.
- Nobody is wearing #19, and Jurickson Profar is still a free agent, he could slot in there pretty easily. 19 is his hold number with the Rangers after all.
Also as I do every year, I keep track of who has held their uniform number the longest. Keep in mind this is not tenure with the team in general – just “tenure with their current uniform number”.
The longest consecutively ACTIVE held uniform number going into this year is now a two way tie. Jose LeClerc (25) & Brett Martin (59) have all held their respective numbers now for five consecutive seasons going into 2023 (all of them starting at some point in the 2019 season).
Just behind them are Taylor Hearn & Adolis Garcia at 4 seasons, and behind them is a 9 way tie with 3 (Taveras / Heim / Lowe / Dunning / Burke / Otto / Huff / Sborz / Barlow).
I should also mention Jonathan Hernandez, who wears #72. He would have the record at 6 years as he’s worn that in parts of every season from 2018 onwards. Problem is in the 2018 & 2021 seasons, he never appeared in the majors, so I discounted him for that reason.
Technically the longest held is Josh Frasier, the bullpen catcher, who has worn #66 since 2005, and assuming he’s here in 2023 (I haven’t officially gotten word of that yet) he would have worn it for 19 seasons. I’m not counting Rangers Captain who has worn #72 since 2003. Neither of these guys are proper rostered players or coaches, so they’re not being counted as longer than the guys above.
- Meibrys Viloria (#60) will be the best name to hear people mispronounce on the roster.
- #69 remains the only number never to be handed to anyone under any condition. ;)
There is one thing I was hoping fans could help me by contributing. If you’ve ever looked at my uniform number history pages, I’ve gathered over the years pictures of the various numbers being worn on players. I’ve posted some of them on the bottom of each number’s page as an “example” of that number. Check out the pages, and look at the bottom. I think it makes for a nice little archive of pictures. If you happen to have any that I do not, please drop me a line, I’d love to see them.