Texas Rangers Depth Outlook

Mar 26, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Pedro Ciriaco (15) makes the play for the out in the first inning during a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Pedro Ciriaco (15) makes the play for the out in the first inning during a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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As of today, the Texas Rangers have released OF Drew Stubbs meaning the competition to make the 25-man roster has been whittled down.

The Texas Rangers are still undecided about how they are going to shape their roster heading into the 2016 season. Whether they go with a 3-man bench or 4 means that one talented player may get left out of the major league roster. Today the club released OF Drew Stubbs which leaves 6 players vying for 3-4 spots. With their bench players they’d add a fourth outfielder, a fifth infielder, a backup catcher and then possibly an additional player.

Outfielder– For the fourth outfielder spot it has become a two man race. Ryan Rua, who was on the roster at the start of the season last year, is the front runner with the performance he’s put together at the plate this Spring Training. Rua is hitting above .400 in March through 50 at-bats. Rua has most of his outfield work in left field but has the ability to play right as well. Rua can also serve as the backup first baseman to Mitch Moreland as he’s gotten work there over the past couple of seasons. Offseason signee Justin Ruggiano is also competing for that last outfielder role. Ruggiano has not put up quite the numbers of Rua this Spring but is overall a more established major league player. Ruggiano has a bit more flexibility with experience at all three outfield positions as well as first base meaning he could serve as a backup to Mitch Moreland.

Infielder-  We also have a two man race for the fifth infielder spot. Pedro Ciriaco and Hanser Alberto are both making strong cases to be on the roster. Both players play numerous positions in the infield with Ciriaco the veteran utility player and Alberto the younger player who spent 2015 with Texas. Ciriaco was initially signed for his defensive ability but at the plate during Spring Training he’s hitting .442 with 7 RBIs in 52 at-bats. Alberto offers a little bit more power at the plate compared to Ciriaco and is hitting .370 this spring. Both guys would be able to play second, third and shortstop but Alberto, in my opinion, would be more flexible if he was needed to play first or right field.

Catcher-  Chris Gimenez is in my opinion the front runner for the backup catcher position barring some sort of injury or if the Rangers make a trade. Gimenez is the better hitter of the players competing for the position and doesn’t sacrifice much defensively.

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3 Man Bench

With a 3-man bench, more scrutiny is applied to which players offer the Rangers the most offensively and defensively. Each player has to be more balanced and flexibility is key.

  1. Ryan Rua– Rua is the proven player this Spring and the younger player. He has a future with Texas and in a fully healthy season, it’d be interesting to see what he’s capable of accomplishing.
  2. Hanser Alberto– Alberto overall is the better hitter. Defensively you don’t lose very much by not having Ciriaco
  3. Chris Gimenez– Gimenez has shown himself to be the more established catcher of those being considered. He’s the best backup option currently on the 40-man roster. 

 4 Man Bench

In this scenario, the Rangers are left with a decision. Who gets left off the roster? They would be going with a 7-man bullpen but that discussion is for a different time. Here its now about determining what fourth player brings the most benefit to the Rangers roster.

In this scenario, the Rangers are left with a decision. Who gets left off the roster?

  1. Ryan Rua-  Rua is the proven player this Spring and the younger player. He has a future with Texas and in a fully healthy season, it’d be interesting to see what he’s capable of accomplishing.
  2. Hanser Alberto– Alberto overall is the better hitter. Defensively you don’t lose very much by not having Ciriaco
  3. Chris Gimenez– Gimenez has shown himself to be the more established catcher of those being considered. He’s the best backup option currently on the 40-man roster. 
  4. Pedro Ciriaco- Ciriaco is the next best option to put on the roster if you’re the Rangers. He’s a defensive wizard in the infield. He’s a decent contact hitter which means he’ll put the ball in play when it counts.

Why is Ruggiano the odd man out? Ruggiano, while talented, doesn’t offer Texas what they need. He’s essentially an older Ryan Rua in the type of player he is and what positions he can play in. He doesn’t offer as much flexibility as the other guys on the roster which is needed. Look for Texas to try and deal Ruggiano to a team in exchange for some pitching or possibly as part of a package for an established catcher.

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