Believe it or not, the Major League Baseball season is cresting over the horizon.
To that end, the Texas Rangers will make their annual winter caravan stop in the Waco area on Thursday. The Rangers will be represented by pitchers Matt Bush, Chris Martin and Shawn Tolleson, along with television analyst Tom Grieve.
The group will participate in a Fox Sports Southwest-sponsored luncheon at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame beginning at 11:30 a.m. Then they’ll travel to McGregor, where they’ll hold a free autograph signing at Jim Turner Chevrolet on 1105 East McGregor Drive from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Bush is coming off a season in which he finished second on the Rangers’ pitching staff in games (57) and saves (10). Tolleson and Martin are plenty familiar to Waco baseball fans, having played their college ball at Baylor and McLennan Community College, respectively.
Tolleson has re-signed with the Rangers after spending the 2017 season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He missed last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but was a fixture in the Rangers’ bullpen from 2014-16, when he went 11-7 with 46 saves and a 3.84 ERA.
Martin spent the past two years in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League before signing a two-year contract with the Rangers in December. He produced the lowest ERA (1.12) and opponents’ batting average (.154) of any NPB reliever with at least 90 appearances in 2016-17.