Rangers bring potential player Jung to his MLB debut

ARLINGTON, Texas – Josh Jung can’t even describe the whirlwind of feelings he’s been in over the past seven months, since shoulder surgery that robbed the senior player of a chance to compete for a place on the Texas Rangers’ roster in spring training.

Now that he initially thought he might not play at all this season, Jung is set to make his league debut on Friday night after a month of Triple-A matches. Rangers plan to put Jung, the eighth overall pick in the 2019 draft from Texas Tech, on their active 28-player roster before opening the series at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Full 180, going from high to camp to … I’m not going to play this year to actually go out to play games in Arizona and then move to a subsidiary and now get a chance at the runner-up,” Jung said on Thursday, as he stood in front of his locker at Rangers that was Empty otherwise on a team day off.

When asked if he was at all nervous about his debut, Young replied, “Sure. It’s everything I’ve been doing my whole life. Sure.”

The 24-year-old will likely be the third starting player in the last three and a half weeks of the season. It’s a role that was expected to have a chance of winning in spring training before he got injured.

His major debut in the league will come as Rangers (59-77) head in for their sixth consecutive losing season, and weeks after the firing of baseball chief of operations John Daniels and manager Chris Woodward. There are still 26 games left, and their next win will equal their total wins last season when they lost 102 games.

Young was lifting weights before the team’s minor league camp opened in Arizona in February, just before the end of the MLB shutdown, when he felt discomfort in his (left) shoulder not throwing weights. He was initially diagnosed with straining, but underwent surgery a week later to repair a labrum tear.

“It was pretty much a constant conversation the whole time. I mean, from February to March, it was like probably not playing this year. Week 12, week 16 come back, started swinging the bat at week 16 kind of seeing how everything was Look how my shoulder was responding,” he said. Then the conversation started to change a little. So between the four and five month mark is when you really started. Hey, let’s see what we can do here.”

Jung hit .266 with nine lucky catches and 29 RBIs in 31 games—eight in Arizona before 23 with Triple-A Round Rock. This included hitting three times in three rounds over two games just to increase the hype – and it eventually led to him getting his break from social media. He also had a 1 for 17 with 11 hits and didn’t walk.

“I went down into the first two weeks of rehab and was unconscious. The next two weeks, I felt as cold as ice,” Jung said. “I just needed to find balance and get back to where my feet were. I think that was the biggest thing for me. So I was like I should quit social media for a bit.”

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